Fox News contributor calls DC officer a ‘crisis actor’ after 6 January commission testimony

Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone testifies during the opening hearing of the U.S. House (Select) Committee. (Getty Images)
Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone testifies during the opening hearing of the U.S. House (Select) Committee. (Getty Images)

A right-wing pundit and Fox News contributor smeared DC Capitol Police Officer Michael Fanone as a “crisis actor” after his emotional testimony to the 6 January commission.

Julie Kelly, who describes herself as a “self-appointed fact checker of the left”, went on an extended Twitter tirade as four officers who were injured during the US Capitol riots testified before a House Committee on Tuesday.

Mr Fanone described being beaten, sprayed with mace and knocked unconscious as he and the other outnumbered police officers tried to keep thousands of insurrectionists from storming the US Capitol as the 2020 election results were being certified.

Mr Fanone was grabbed and pulled out into the crowd, and said he only escaped with his life after pleading with the crowd: “I’ve got kids”.

Mr Fanone’s bodycam footage, played for the committee and broadcast on cable news, captured the moment he begged for his life. On Twitter, Mrs Kelly suggested that Mr Fanone had lied when he reported suffering a heart attack, severe brain injury and PTSD.

She went on to call him “Crisis actor Fanone”.

Crisis actor is a popular term among right-wing conspiracists to describe witnesses and victims of crime they claims have been hired to lie about events such as mass shootings.

Mrs Kelly also commented that Mr Fanone “has many tattoos”.

Mrs Kelly, a regular on Fox News primetime shows, also smeared other Capitol police officers who testified of suffering serious injury during the riots.

She went on to attack officer Harry Dunn, who led the mob away during the Capitol riot, as being a “liar”.

Mr Dunn told the committee how he and his fellow officers were subjected to a torrent of racial abuse, including the “n-word”.

Mrs Kelly’s Twitter timeline was filled with retweets of far-right 6 January “truthers” who deny the assault on the US Capitol was an insurrection.

Asked about the whitewashing by lawmakers and pundits who downplayed the Capitol riots, Mr Fanone said the “indifference shown to my colleagues is disgraceful”.

“Nothing, truly nothing, has prepared me to address those elected members of our government who continue to deny the events of that day.”

In a moment of levity, DC police officer Daniel Hodges was asked what he made of Republicans who described the rioters as “tourists”.

“Well, if that’s what American tourists are like, I can see why foreign countries don’t like American tourists,” he said.

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