GOP congressman calls Capitol police officer a ‘hero’ after fellow Republican refuses to shake hands

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Rep Adam Kinzinger attacks colleague for rebuttal of ‘hero’ Capitol officer (CNN)
Rep Adam Kinzinger attacks colleague for rebuttal of ‘hero’ Capitol officer (CNN)

A Republican congressman has hailed Capitol police officer Michael Fanone as a “hero” after the officer was allegedly rebuffed by a colleague, Andrew Clyde.

Adam Kinzinger, in an interview on CNN on Thursday, commended Mr Fanone for defending the Capitol on 6 January from rioters, following an apparent rejection from Mr Clyde.

"That's what happens when you put somebody that has lied to his constituents, that’s frankly afraid of telling his constituents the truth, in front of a hero," said Mr Kinzinger on Thursday.

He added: “In front of a hero that fought to defend him”.

Mr Fanone told CNN on Wednesday that when he introduced himself to Mr Clyde as an officer “who fought on January 6 to defend the Capitol” and reached out to shake the Republican’s hand, the congressman turned away.

“I extended my hand to shake his hand. 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,” Mr Fanone recalled.

He went on: “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. At that point, the congressman turned away from me."

It followed Mr Clyde voting against giving the Congressional Gold Medal to officers who defended the Capitol during the riot, along with 20 other members of the GOP on Tuesday.

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Mr Clyde came in for criticism in May for comparing Capitol rioters to “tourists” who were apparently no threat in an attack that left five people dead.

Mr Fanone, who was badly beaten by pro-Trump rioters, was in Congress on Wednesday in the wake of the rejection of the Congressional Gold Medal for officers.

The Independent has contacted Mr Clyde for comment.

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