A Republican congressman refused to shake hands with a DC police officer beaten by Trump loyalists on January 6, according to 2 House members

·3 min read
D.C. Metropolitan Police Department Officer Michael Fanone, addresses the media after a meeting with Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, to urge Republican senators to support a bipartisan commission to investigate the events of January 6th attack on the Capitol, on Thursday, May 27, 2021.
DC Metropolitan Police officer Michael Fanone addresses the media in May after a meeting with Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, to urge Republican senators to support a bipartisan commission to investigate the events of January 6. Tom Williams/Getty Images
  • Rep. Andrew Clyde refused to shake hands with Michael Fanone, a DC officer assaulted on Jan. 6. 

  • Two members of Congress shared Fanone's story on Wednesday via Twitter. 

  • "Fanone introduced himself as 'someone who fought to defend the Capitol,'" Rep. Eric Swalwell tweeted. 

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Rep. Andrew Clyde, a Georgia Republican who has downplayed the January 6 Capitol riot, refused to shake hands with Michael Fanone, a Washington, DC, police officer who was assaulted by pro-Trump rioters while protecting the Capitol, two members of Congress announced on Wednesday. 

Rep. Eric Swalwell, a California Democrat, tweeted that Fanone approached Clyde at the Capitol and introduced himself as "someone who fought to defend the Capitol," but Clyde refused to shake his outstretched hand. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, an Illinois Republican, tweeted shortly after that he'd called Fanone and "confirmed" the story.

"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," Swalwell tweeted

Kinzinger added that the officer told him he also had a "disrespectful" interaction with a different lawmaker's chief of staff. 

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

Clyde has repeatedly downplayed the events of January 6 and claimed during a hearing last month that many of the rioters behaved like they were on a "normal tourist visit." The congressman also insisted there was "no insurrection," and instead "an undisciplined mob" that included "some rioters" and some who committed vandalism. Clyde's attempt to minimize the Capitol riot is particularly notable because he was photographed helping barricade the doors to the House floor from inside the chamber as pro-Trump rioters attempted to enter. 

A spokesperson for Clyde didn't immediately respond to Insider's request for comment. 

Fanone also said that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has refused to meet with him. Fanone, who suffered a heart attack after he was repeatedly shot with a stun gun and beaten by rioters, advocated the bipartisan commission to investigate the events of January 6 before Republicans sank the effort. The officer called Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's efforts to block the commission "absolutely disgraceful."

"I was absolutely sickened," he told CNN after meeting with the mother of a Capitol police officer who died after the riot. "You know, here I am escorting the mother of a dead policeman, while she and myself advocate for the formation of a commission to investigate the circumstances which resulted in her son's death."

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