Congressman Refuses Handshake From Officer Who Defended Capitol

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On Wednesday, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) shared the troubling news on Twitter that D.C. police officer Michael Fanone — who participated in the defense of the Capitol against rioting Trump supporters on January 6 — had been rudely snubbed by Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.), a first-term Congressman who, incredibly, compared the Capitol riot to a “tourist visit.” Obviously, Clyde’s description of the events of January 6 bears little relationship to what actually happened. Some 140 officers were injured — with serious wounds among them — by the Trump fanatics who stormed the Capitol premises. That’s not a “tourist visit”!

Swalwell shared the following on Twitter:

‘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. Clyde refused to shake it. To honor Trump, @housegop will dishonor the police.’

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), who was one of ten House Republicans who voted to convict then-President Trump on a charge of incitement of insurrection after the Capitol riot, subsequently shared on Twitter that he’d spoken with Officer Fanone and confirmed Swalwell’s account. As Kinzinger — a frequent Trump critic — put it:

‘I just called Officer Fanone and confirmed this story. This is really incredible. Also relayed an interaction he had with another [member’s] Chief of Staff that was really incredibly bad and disrespectful.’

Sandra Garza — the longtime romantic partner of the late Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, who died very soon after participating in the January 6 defense of the Capitol of what the D.C. medical examiner has said were natural causes — has said that ex-President Trump himself has never even reached out to the late officer’s loved ones. As Garza put it in recent weeks, Trump “knew that Brian was devoted to him, and he did not once reach out to me” or to Gladys Sicknick, the late officer’s mother. The ex-president — who, of course, incited the riot with his lies about the integrity of last year’s presidential election, which Congress had gathered to formally certify that day — “didn’t even send a letter of condolences,” Garza troublingly revealed.