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A Republican politician has dodged questioning over insensitive comments he made about the 6 January insurrection, where five people lost their lives.
Representative Andrew Clyde was asked by Daniella Diaz, a congressional reporter for CNN and Leigh Ann Caldwell, NBC New’s Capitol Hill correspondent. The exchange was filmed and posted to Twitter by Diaz.
In the 45 second clip, Mr Clyde is asked, “Do you stand by your statements? Do you regret saying that? Five people died, including a police officer, and you're here today honouring police officers? ”
Mr Clyde, who was elected to serve Georgia’s 9th Congressional District, tried to rewrite the history of the insurrection during a congressional hearing looking into the police and military response to the Capitol attack.
“Let me be clear: there was no insurrection. And to call it an insurrection, in my opinion, is a bold-faced lie,” Mr Clyde said in the hearing.
Clyde also said the insurrection looked like “a normal tourist visit,” based on footage he saw.
We asked GOP Rep. Andrew Clyde to explain his comments during a hearing yesterday when he said the Capitol insurrection looked like a “normal tourist visit.”
— Daniella Diaz (@DaniellaMicaela) May 13, 2021
“If you were honest in your statement,” Mr Clyde begins, while one of the journalists pushes back by asking, “What’s wrong about it? When that’s what you said.”
“Think about it, what you just said. You didn’t take what I said in context at all.”
When Ms Diaz requests he elaborate on what he meant, the lawmaker begins to walk away, before turning back, saying, “You don’t listen.”
“Do you believe that January 6th was an insurrection?” Ms Caldwell asked. Mr Clyde then hops into a vehicle and drives away.
Rep. Andrew Clyde's (R-GA) comments today don't hold up well when played side-by-side with insurrection footage, so I made this.
the revisionist history being perpetuated by some Republicans to defend January 6th is disgusting pic.twitter.com/bWdXtU0b4F
— j.d. durkin (@jiveDurkey) May 12, 2021
Republicans spreading misinformation about the Capitol insurrection have directed their rage at Democrats and journalists. They did so at a hearing on Wedneday that was looking into federal law enforcement’s action on the day, which was whipped up former President Donald Trump’s rhetoric.
Rep Paul Goser, for instance, used inflammatory language in defending the Capitol rioters, saying, “outright propaganda and lies are being used to unleash the national security state against law-abiding US citizens, especially Trump voters.”
He described Ashli Babbitt, a pro-Trump activist who was shot and killed by police as she attempted to breach the House chamber, as a “veteran wrapped in the American flag” who was “executed.”
When talking about the ongoing federal investigations into others who took part in the insurrection, Mr Gosar said that they were “harassing peaceful patriots across the country.”
Another Republican, Rep Ralph Norman, tried to raise doubts about whether the Capitol rioters were actually supporters of Mr Trump.
“I don’t know who took a poll,” he said, despite the fact that Mr Trump held a rally inciting his supporters just before they marched on the Capitol.
Framing reporters as liars is nothing new for Trumpian political figures. Mr Trump would regularly use his press conferences to attack individual reporters and news networks he didn’t like.