- Rep. Andrew Clyde refused to shake hands with Michael Fanone, a DC police officer who was assaulted on Jan. 6.
- Two members of Congress shared Fanone’s story on Tuesday via Twitter.
- “Fanone introduced himself as ‘someone who fought to defend the Capitol’ and put out his hand,” Rep. Eric Swalwell tweeted.
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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. 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.”
Kinzinger added that the officer told him he also had a “disrespectful” interaction with a different lawmaker’s chief of staff.
“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.”
Clyde has 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.
A spokesperson for Clyde didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Fanone also said that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has refused to meet with him. Fanone, who suffered a heart attack after he was repeatedly stun gunned and beaten by rioters, advocated for the bipartisan commission to investigate the events of Jan. 6 before Republicans sunk the effort. The officer called Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s efforts to block the commission “absolutely disgraceful.”
“I was absolutely sickened,” he told CNN after meeting with the mother of a Capitol police officer who died after the riot. “You know, here I am escorting the mother of a dead policeman, while she and myself advocate for the formation of a commission to investigate the circumstances which resulted in her son’s death.”