Republican Representative Refuses To Shake Hands With DC Police Officer Assaulted At Capitol on Jan. 6 (UPDATE ADDED)
[guest post by Dana]
Rep. Andrew Clyde, a Georgia Republican who has downplayed the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, refused to shake hands with Michael Fanone, a Washington, DC Metropolitan police officer who was assaulted by pro-Trump rioters while protecting the Capitol, two members of Congress announced on Wednesday.
Rep. Eric Swalwell, a California Democrat, tweeted that Fanone approached Clyde at the Capitol and introduced himself as “someone who fought to defend the Capitol,” but Clyde refused to shake his outstretched hand.
And if you have problems believing Swalwell, here’s Republican Adam Kinzinger confirming the described incident:
Rep. Adam Kinzinger, an Illinois Republican, tweeted shortly after that he’d called Fanone and “confirmed” the story.
“Officer Fanone just ran into @Rep_Clyde at Capitol (he’s the “Jan 6 was a typical tour” guy). Fanone introduced himself as ‘someone who fought to defend the Capitol’ and put out his hand,” Swalwell tweeted. “Clyde refused to shake it. To honor Trump, @housegop will dishonor the police.”
“I just called Officer Fanone and confirmed this story. This is really incredible,” Kinzinger tweeted. “Also relayed an interaction he had with another members [sic] Chief of Staff that was really incredibly bad and disrespectful.”
You may recall that Rep. Clyde repeatedly downplayed the events of Jan. 6 and claimed during a hearing last month that many of the rioters behaved like they were on a “normal tourist visit.” The congressman also insisted there was “no insurrection,” and instead “an undisciplined mob” that included “some rioters” and some who committed vandalism. Clyde’s attempt to minimize the Capitol riot is particularly notable because he was photographed helping barricade the doors to the House floor from inside the chamber as pro-Trump rioters attempted to smash them down.
What an imbecile. But worse, what a big, fat hypocrite:
This week is National Police Week. Having worked with law-enforcement for over 30 years, I know the risks our brave LEO’s undergo on a daily basis. Thank you to the men and women of the Georgia police forces and across our nation for keeping us safe every day! #BackTheBlue pic.twitter.com/WpZlhL2PCQ
— Congressman Clyde Press Office (@Rep_Clyde) May 11, 2021
According to Fanone, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has also refused to meet with him.
UPDATE: Because a commenter noted that he wouldn’t shake hands with a stranger who came up to him and offered his hand, which is not unreasonable, I am adding a fuller description of the incident per Fanone:
Michaeal Fanone…told CNN’s Don Lemon that he went to the Capitol in an attempt to set up meetings with Clyde and the 20 other Republican lawmakers who on Tuesday voted against legislation to award Congressional Gold Medals to officers who responded to the Jan. 6 rioting.
“I really just went there to engage with them, talk to them about my experience, show them body-worn camera footage from that day, if they were interested,” Fanone said. “I didn’t go there with the thoughts that I was going to change a bunch of hearts and minds, but I wanted to better educate them as to what officers’ experiences were that day.”
Fanone, who was repeatedly hit with a stun gun and beaten during the riot, said that while he was not able to set up meetings with any of the lawmakers, he ran into Clyde outside an elevator.
“I was very cordial. I extended my hand to shake his hand,” Fanone recounted. “He just stared at me. I asked if he was going to shake my hand, and he told me that he didn’t who know I was.”
“So I introduced myself, I said that I was Officer Michael Fanone, that I was a D.C. Metropolitan Police officer who fought on Jan. 6 to defend the Capitol and, as a result, I suffered a traumatic brain injury as well as a heart attack after having been tased numerous times at the base of my skull, as well as being severely beaten,” the officer said.
“At that point, the congressman turned away from me,” Fanone alleged before saying that once the elevator doors opened, Clyde “ran as quickly as he could, like a coward.”