As the Jan. 6 march on the Capitol devolved into a riot, several of the Fox News Channel's biggest stars and the president's eldest son told then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows to put President Trump on TV to condemn and stop the violence, according to texts Meadows has given the House committee investigating the matter.
Among those who contacted Meadows were Fox's Sean Hannity, Brian Kilmeade and Laura Ingraham, in addition to Donald Trump, Jr., in material made public Monday night by leaders of the Democrat-led House committee.
They were released by the committee the same night members voted to hold Meadows in contempt of Congress for ending his cooperation with the committee investigation. A full House vote on the contempt charge is expected Tuesday. If the measure passes, it goes to the Justice Department.
"He's got to condemn this s**t ASAP," the president's son texted Meadows.
Meadows replied: "I'm pushing it hard. I agree."
Later Don Jr. texted again, "We need an Oval Office address. He has to lead now. It has gone too far and gotten out of hand."
Ingraham, a late-night opinion show host, texted: "Mark, president needs to tell people in the Capitol to go home. This is hurting all of us. He is destroying his legacy."
Brian Kilmeade, co-host of Fox's morning show, texted Meadows, pleading, "Please get him on TV. Destroying everything you have accomplished."
Sean Hannity, another opinion show host and a close ally of the former president, asked, "Can he make a statement? Ask people to leave the Capitol."
The texts were read by committee Vice Chairwoman Liz Cheney, R-Wyoming, when members met Monday night.
"Hours passed without necessary action by the president," she said. "These non privileged texts are further evidence of President Trump's supreme dereliction of duty during those 187 minutes."
In addition to the correspondences with Fox personalities, Meadows, a former congressman, was receiving messages from Republican lawmakers and staffers at the Capitol.
"We are under siege here at the Capitol," reads one.
Meadows stopped cooperating when, he and his legal team argue, the committee wouldn't allow him to use executive privilege to not answer some questions during upcoming testimony. He says he will continue to cooperate when the legal issue is resolved.
"Mark, protesters are literally storming the Capitol. Breaking windows on doors, rushing in. Is Trump going to say something?" asked another.
A fourth message informed Meadows, "There's an armed standoff at the House chamber door."