Loudermilk 'I Love Giving Tours of the Capitol' Clip Resurfaces, Goes Viral

A video clip of Republican Representative Barry Loudermilk saying that he loves to give tours of the U.S. Capitol has resurfaced online after the House Select Committee investigating the Capitol riot asked Loudermilk to speak with them.

A 14-second video of remarks Loudermilk made on the floor of the House of Representatives in 2019 about giving tours had been viewed more than 49,000 times as of early Friday morning.

The Select Committee investigating the events of January 6, 2021, has asked Loudermilk, who represents Georgia's 11th congressional district, to submit to questioning regarding a tour of the Capitol complex the committee says he'd given a day earlier.

Loudermilk hasn't been issued with a subpoena and the committee hasn't accused him of any wrongdoing. The Republican has said he gave a tour of the Capitol complex to some constituents on January 5 and denied conducting a "reconnaissance" tour.

In the 2019 video, Loudermilk said: "And I love giving tours of the Capitol to constituents when they come and bring them into this chamber."

According to public records available at Congress.gov, Loudermilk made that remark on January 15, 2019, in the context of discussing the then ongoing government shutdown.

"As a historian, I love this building. I love the Capitol. I love spending time in this Chamber just thinking about the history of our nation and the historical moments that have taken place in here," the congressman said.

Loudermilk went on to speak fondly and at some length about giving people tours of the building as an apparent means to frame the wider discussion about resolving the government shutdown.

"We walk down the hallway and we go to the rotunda, the magnificent rotunda that has portraits hanging in the rotunda that depict the history of America," Loudermilk said. "I share with them about how this is the greatest legislative body in the history of the world."

The January 6 committee isn't alleging that any of the people Loudermilk took on a tour on January 5, 2021, were later involved in the storming of the Capitol, but it is investigating whether some of the rioters took part in "reconnaissance" tours.

In a letter on Thursday, Democratic Chairman Bennie Thompson and Republican Vice Chair Liz Cheney said they had evidence that tours had taken place and that evidence "directly contradicts" a claim made by Republicans on the Committee on House Administration.

Committee Republicans had said that a review of January 5 security footage had shown "[t]here were no tours, no large groups, no one with MAGA hats on."

Loudermilk, who sits on the Committee on House Administration, issued a joint statement with Representative Rodney Davis, the Republican ranking member of the committee.

"A constituent family with young children meeting with their Member of Congress in the House office buildings is not a suspicious group or 'reconnaissance tour.' The family never entered the Capitol building," the statement said.

"No place that the family went on the 5th was breached on the 6th, the family did not enter the Capitol grounds on the 6th, and no one in that family has been investigated or charged in connection to January 6th," the Republicans added.

Newsweek has asked Barry Loudermilk's office for comment.

Barry Loudermilk
Representative Barry Loudermilk of Georgia's 11th congressional district depicted with the U.S. Capitol Building. Remarks Loudermilk made about giving tours of the building in 2019 have gained renewed attention. iStock / Gov.org