Capitol Riot Cop Michael Fanone Says 'Coward' GOP Rep. Clyde Refused to Shake His Hand

D.C. Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone has called Republican Representative Andrew Clyde a "coward" for refusing to shake his hand or acknowledge him when they met in person on Wednesday.

Fanone was injured during the January 6 Capitol riot. He was on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, in the hope of speaking to the 21 Republican members of the House of Representatives who voted against a bill awarding Congressional Gold Medals to officers who responded to the riot. Clyde is one of them.

He told CNN's Don Lemon that he had seen Clyde, who represents Georgia's 9th congressional district, waiting for an elevator and he went to speak to the congressman.

Before speaking to Fanone on Wednesday, Lemon showed footage of Clyde comparing the riot to a tourist visit and a photo showing Clyde trying to barricade a door during the riot.

"I greeted Congressman Clyde," Fanone said. "I was very cordial. I extended my hand to shake his hand. He just stared at me. I asked him if he was going to shake my hand and he told me that he didn't know who I was.

"So I introduced myself. I said that I was Officer Michael Fanone, that I was a D.C. Metropolitan police officer who fought on January 6 to defend the Capitol. And as a result, I suffered a traumatic brain injury as well as a heart attack after having been tased numerous times at the base of my skull, as well as being severely beaten.

"At that point the congressman turned away from me, pulled out his cellphone," Fanone said. "It looked like he was attempting to pull up like an audio recording app on his phone. And again, like, never acknowledged me at any point. As soon as the elevator doors opened, he ran as quickly as he could like a coward."

Lemon asked Fanone: "What do you think of that?"

"Obviously, I took that particular interaction like, very personally," Fanone said. "But I also took it as a representation of Andrew Clyde giving the middle finger to myself and every other member of the Metropolitan Police Department and U.S. Capitol police that responded that day."

Later in the interview, Fanone said that Clyde had lied about the events of January 6 and tried to downplay them.

"At this point, if you're gonna sling bulls*** about January 6, I'm gonna call you out on it," Fanone said.

During a congressional hearing on May 12, Clyde said the January 6 Capitol riot "was not an insurrection."

"You know, if you didn't know the TV footage was a video from January 6, you'd think it was a normal tourist visit," Clyde added.

Fanone has previously criticized Republican lawmakers for trying to downplay the events of January 6 and said he believes the rioters would have killed people if police hadn't successfully pushed them back from an entrance to the Capitol.

Newsweek has asked Representative Andrew Clyde for comment.

Representative Andrew Clyde Leaves a Press Conference
Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-GA) departs a press conference held with Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) outside the U.S. Capitol to announce the filing of a lawsuit challenging fines levied for violations of the new security screening policies for members of the House of Representatives to enter the House chamber June 14, 2021 in Washington, DC. Clyde was one of 21 House Republicans to vote against awarding Congressional Gold Medals to law enforcement officers who responded to the January 6 Capitol riot. Win McNamee/Getty Images