GOP congressman accused of refusing to shake hand of officer attacked during Capitol riot

Rep. Andrew Clyde refused to shake the hand of a Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department officer who defended the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 siege, two of Clyde's House colleagues and the law enforcement official himself claimed on Wednesday.

California Rep. Eric Swalwell said Michael Fanone, a policeman who was beaten during the riot and has been outspoken ever since, was snubbed when he tried to shake the Georgia Republican's hand.

"Officer Fanone just ran into @Rep_Clyde at Capitol (he’s the 'Jan 6 was a typical tour' guy)," Swalwell wrote in a tweet. "Fanone introduced himself as 'someone who fought to defend the Capitol' and put out his hand. Clyde refused to shake it. To honor Trump, @housegop will dishonor the police."


Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a Republican, said he spoke with Fanone and confirmed the story.

"I just called Officer Fanone and confirmed this story. This is really incredible. Also relayed an interaction he had with another members Chief of Staff that was really incredibly bad and disrespectful," Kinzinger later tweeted.

Fanone shared his version of the events during an appearance Wednesday on CNN's Don Lemon Tonight.

“I saw Congressman Clyde standing outside of an elevator. ... I asked him if he was gonna shake my hand, and he told me that he didn’t know who I was, so I introduced myself," he said. "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.”

“At that point, the congressman turned away from me, he pulled out his cellphone, looked like he was attempting to pull up like an audio recording app on his phone, and again like never acknowledged me. ... As soon as the elevator doors opened, he ran as quickly as he could like a coward," he added.

Clyde did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Washington Examiner.

The Republican came under fire in mid-May for comparing the Jan. 6 riot to a "normal tourist visit" and insisting the incident wasn't an "insurrection."

“There was no insurrection,” he remarked during an oversight hearing featuring testimony from former acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller, former acting Attorney General Jeffery Rosen, and Robert J. Contee III. “And to call it an insurrection, in my opinion, is a baldfaced lie. Watching the TV footage of those who entered the Capitol and walked through Statuary Hall showed people in an orderly fashion staying between the stanchions and ropes taking videos and pictures. You know, if you didn’t know the TV footage was a video from January the 6th, you’d actually think it was a normal tourist visit.”

Swalwell on Monday also accused House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of snubbing a meeting request with Fanone. The California Democrat posted a text message exchange, which he said was with the police officer.

"Did McCarthy ever reach out?" Swalwell wrote.

The screenshot showed the response was: "Do you have to ask. No."

Swalwell replied, "Sorry. Was hoping the answer was different."


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office released a statement about McCarthy on Tuesday, claiming the Republican leader ignored Fanone's request for more than a month despite promising to meet with him.

"More than one month after publicly promising to meet with Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone to discuss the horrors he experienced on January 6th, Minority Leader McCarthy’s office has not even reached out to Officer Fanone to set up a meeting," the statement read. "During the January 6th Capitol insurrection, Officer Fanone was beaten with a flag pole, concussed, and suffered a heart attack while protecting McCarthy and other lawmakers from violent Trump supporters."

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Tags: News, U.S. Capitol Police, Riots, Eric Swalwell, Congress, Nancy Pelosi, Law Enforcement, Kevin McCarthy

Original Author: Jake Dima

Original Location: GOP congressman accused of refusing to shake hand of officer attacked during Capitol riot