Officer injured in Capitol riot blasts GOP lawmaker who refused to shake his hand as a "coward"

GOP Rep. Andrew Clyde refused to shake the hand of hero officer Michael Fanone

By Brenley Goertzen
Published June 18, 2021 11:21AM (EDT)
GOP Rep. Andrew Clyde and Capitol police officer Michael Fanone (Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images)
GOP Rep. Andrew Clyde and Capitol police officer Michael Fanone (Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images)

A DC Metropolitan Police officer is the latest to remind us that for many GOP members of Congress, support for law enforcement is conditioned on partisan loyalties. 

Michael Fanone, who was injured after being stun-gunned several times and beaten with a flagpole during the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, blasted GOP Rep. Andrew Clyde for what he says was "disgusting" behavior during an in-person exchange at Capitol Hill on Wednesday afternoon.

Fanone had visited the Capitol after 21 House Republicans voted against legislation to award the Congressional Gold Medal and honor officers who defended against the violent January 6 insurrection. On CNN's "Don Lemon Tonight," Fanone told host Don Lemon that he ran into the Georgia Republican but was quickly dismissed by the congressman.

Having suffered a traumatic brain injury as well as a heart attack "after being tased numerous times at the base of my skull, as well as being severely beaten," Fanone says he returned to Capitol Hill in an attempt to speak to any of the 21 House Republicans about his experience. 

Clyde, who has downplayed the insurrection repeatedly, has also given false accounts of the events on January 6 according to a CNN report.

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

Once the elevator doors opened, Fanone said Clyde "ran, as quickly as he could, like a coward."

Fanone said he took his interaction with Clyde "very personally," saying it was an insult and "middle finger" not only to himself, but also to every officer who bravely responded to defend the Capitol on January 6.


Brenley Goertzen

Brenley Goertzen is an editorial intern at Salon and a graduate student at New York University's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. Follow her on Twitter @BrenleyGoertzen

MORE FROM Brenley Goertzen