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GOP lawmaker refuses to shake hand of officer who was beaten unconscious by Capitol rioters

Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.) on Wednesday refused to shake hands with D.C. police officer Michael Fanone, who suffered a heart attack and traumatic brain injury after he was assaulted while protecting the Capitol during the Jan. 6 riot, per the Washington Post.

Why it matters: Clyde is among the 21 Republicans who voted against awarding a Congressional Gold Medal to officers who defended the Capitol during the riot.

Driving the news: Fanone returned to the Capitol Wednesday looking to share his story with those members, and told the Post that he recognized Clyde in an elevator

  • Fanone said the Republican congressman refused to shake his hand even after he introduced himself as an officer who "fought to defend the Capitol on Jan. 6," and described being beaten until he was unconscious.
  • "His response was nothing,” Fanone said. “He turned away from me, pulled out his cellphone and started thumbing through the apps.”

The big picture: The Georgia Republican has tried to downplay the events of that day by likening the mob at the Capitol to tourists.

  • "There was no insurrection. To call it an insurrection is a bold-faced lie," Clyde said in May.

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.

— Adam Kinzinger (@AdamKinzinger) June 16, 2021

What they're saying: “Every now and again I think we have to be at the bottom of how low we can get,” Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) told the Post. "You don’t have to admit you should have voted for [the Gold Medal] by shaking a guy’s hand. The presence of these heroes can make some people uncomfortable.”

Go deeper: Cheney slams GOP Rep. Gosar for saying Capitol Police officer "executed" Capitol rioter

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