Sen. Ted Cruz, in R-Texas, on Thursday said he had made a "mistake" when, the previous day, he described the Capitol riots as "terrorist attacks."
In an interview, Tucker Carlson of Fox News criticized Cruz for his comments and accused the GOP Senator of lying.
"The way I put things yesterday, it was sloppy and dumb," Cruz said in an interview during a commemoration of the riot. Cruz said that “because of my slurred speech,” many people did not understand what he meant when he called it a terrorist attack.
“I am referring to the limited number of people who violently attack the police and I think you and I agree that if you hit a police officer you should go to jail. That's the one I was talking about, ”he said. "I would not say that thousands of peaceful protesters who support Donald Trump are terrorists in some way. I would say that millions of patriotic people around the world who support President Trump are terrorists, which is something that most people do not fully understand. ”
Carlson responded by saying that attacking a police officer does not make a person a terrorist: "How many people have been charged with terrorism on Jan. 6?"
"Tucker, I agree with you," Cruz said. "It was a mistake to say that yesterday."
A Texas MP described the January 6 violence as a terrorist attack during a Senate trial Wednesday with evidence from Capitol Police Chief J. Thomas Manger.
Cruz, who was among the 147 Republicans in Congress voting on January 6 to overturn Biden's victory, said in a trial that day "it was a terrorist attack." He said: "Anyone who commits a violent act should be prosecuted, and anyone who abuses a law enforcement officer should be detained for a very long time.
The reversal of Cruz's comments from Conservative rallies was rapid, including in Carlson's program Wednesday night and in the podcast former Trump adviser Steve Bannon.
Cruz has long called the January 6 riots terrorist attacks, including hours. He called this a "disgusting act of terrorism" in Jan. 7, in a statement released to the media in May that it was a terrorist attack and called the riots "terrorists" in a local TV talk show.