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

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.
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.

  • Rep. Andrew Clyde refused to shake hands with Michael Fanone, a DC police officer who was assaulted on Jan. 6.
  • Two members of Congress shared Fanone’s story on Tuesday via Twitter.
  • “Fanone introduced himself as ‘someone who fought to defend the Capitol’ and put out his hand,” Rep. Eric Swalwell tweeted.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Rep. Andrew Clyde, a Georgia Republican who has downplayed the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, refused to shake hands with Michael Fanone, a Washington, DC Metropolitan 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,” Swalwell tweeted. “Clyde refused to shake it. To honor Trump, @housegop will dishonor the police.”

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 [sic] Chief of Staff that was really incredibly bad and disrespectful.”

Clyde has repeatedly downplayed the events of Jan. 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 smash them down.

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 stun gunned and beaten by rioters, advocated for the bipartisan commission to investigate the events of Jan. 6 before Republicans sunk 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.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert downplayed the Capitol riot at a major QAnon conference and posed for photos with a conspiracy theorist influencer

Trump Republicans
Rep. Louie Gohmert, left, talks with fellow GOP Reps. Matt Gaetz and Jim Jordan.

  • Rep. Louie Gohmert, a Texas Republican, spoke at a major QAnon conference on Saturday in Dallas.
  • Gohmert downplayed the Jan. 6 Capitol riot to the crowd of QAnon supporters and MAGA proponents.
  • The congressman spoke in front of a large image of the event’s logo, which featured the QAnon mantra “Where we go one, we go all.”
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Rep. Louie Gohmert, a Texas Republican, spoke at a major QAnon conference on Saturday in Dallas and downplayed the January 6 Capitol riot to a crowd that included major conspiracy theorist influencers.

The congressman condemned his colleagues in the House who are pushing for a bipartisan commission to investigate the Capitol riot and argued that the events of Jan. 6 paled in comparison to both the 9/11 terror and Pearl Harbor attacks, according to reporters and watchdog groups covering the event. Earlier this month, Gohmert joined many of his Republican colleagues in blocking the creation of a Jan. 6 commission.

Gohmert took photos at the event with QAnon supporters, including Zak Paine, the host of a popular QAnon show RedPill78, who has said he stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6.

Gohmert spoke on stage at the Omni Hotel in Dallas in front of a large image of the event’s logo, which featured the QAnon mantra “Where we go one, we go all,” abbreviated to “WWG1WGA.”

The phrase was taken from the 1996 film “White Squall” and is widely used by QAnon adherents to show their support for the far-right conspiracy theory. Gohmert and three other Texas House Republicans voted against a congressional resolution condemning QAnon last fall.

A prominent QAnon influencer, John Sabal, aka “QAnon John,” and his girlfriend, Amy, organized the conference. Sabal detailed his support for QAnon during an October 2020 interview with Insider at a Trump rally in Middletown, PA.

“I want to make [the Conservative Political Action Conference] look like a puppy show,” Sabal told a far-right podcast host last month of his QAnon conference.

The three-day conference featured several prominent QAnon promoters, including Trump’s former national security advisor, Michael Flynn, and ex-Trump attorney Sidney Powell. The chairman of the Texas Republican Party, Allen West, also spoke at the events.

The pro-Trump QAnon conspiracy theory, which claims that major Democrats and celebrities are operating a global pedophile ring, is closely tied to the Capitol riot. Forty people arrested for entering the Capitol on Jan. 6 are QAnon adherents. Rosanne Boyland, a rioter who died on the steps of the Capitol, was an avid QAnon believer, according to Boyland’s family and friends.

Spokespeople for Gohmert and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment.

A reporter at a Texas CBS affiliate said that a member of Gohmert’s staff falsely told the outlet that the congressman did not attend the event.

Gohmert has promoted the false claim that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from Trump, and repeatedly defended the Capitol rioters and others accused of unlawfully entering the Capitol as part of the pro-Trump mob on Jan. 6. Other Republican lawmakers have described the rioters as harmless “tourists” and otherwise defended the attack on Congress.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Biden tells Republicans who oppose a Capitol riot commission to ‘eat some chocolate chocolate chip’ ice cream

President Joe Biden poses for a photo with a girl after getting an ice cream at Honey Hut Ice Cream in Cleveland, Ohio, on May 27, 2021.
President Joe Biden poses for a photo with a girl after getting an ice cream at Honey Hut Ice Cream in Cleveland, Ohio, on May 27, 2021.

  • President Joe Biden made a surprise stop on Thursday at Honey Hut ice cream shop in Cleveland, Ohio.
  • With an ice cream cone in hand, he said he “couldn’t imagine” why Republicans are opposed to a bipartisan commission to investigate the Capitol riot.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

President Joe Biden made a surprise stop on Thursday at Honey Hut ice cream shop in Cleveland, Ohio.

Reporters at the scene were eager to know how the president felt about congressional Republicans rejecting the creation of a bipartisan commission to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.

Biden, famous for his love of ice cream, held up his cone and advised his colleagues across the aisle to “eat some chocolate chocolate chip.”

It was a joke, folks.

After cheers from the small crowd gathered around him, he added, “I can’t imagine anyone voting against establishing a commission on the greatest assault since the Civil War on the Capitol. But at any rate, I came for ice cream.”

Biden took another light-hearted swipe at Republicans during a speech at a Cleveland community college earlier on Thursday. He noted that not a single Republican lawmaker voted for his COVID-19 relief package, the American Rescue Plan, but many of them have since touted the benefits of the legislation to the constituents.

“I’m not going to embarrass any one of them, but I have – here – a list of how back in their districts, they’re bragging about the Rescue Plan,” Biden said, holding up a card listing the names of about a dozen lawmakers.

The crowd broke out in laughter.

He added, “I mean some people have no shame.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

Marco Rubio slams the proposed January 6 commission as ‘a partisan joke’ that’s ‘about damaging Republicans’

Marco Rubio
Senator Marco Rubio of Florida.

  • Sen. Marco Rubio voiced his opposition to legislation that would create a bipartisan January 6 commission.
  • Rubio said that existing investigations are already uncovering much of what happened that day.
  • GOP leaders Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy have also come out against the proposal.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

GOP Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida on Friday announced his opposition to an independent commission that would investigate the January 6 Capitol riot, calling it “a partisan joke.”

Legislation for a bipartisan commission, which would probe the deadly insurrection, is currently “designed” to hurt Republicans, Rubio said.

“There’s no cover-up here,” he said in a video posted on Twitter. “We already know what happened on January 6. It was a horrifying day. It’s something that should never happen again.”

He added: “We’re going to learn even more about what happened that day. Why? The Justice Department, as they should, is trying to prosecute and put in jail hundreds of people responsible for what happened that day.”

Rubio then said that congressional hearings have already revealed a lot about what happened on January 6, in addition to what he said was continuous media attention on the riot.

“There’s plenty of attention being paid to this,” he said. “Not to mention that the media doesn’t stop talking about it. They’re also looking at it.”

As the two-term senator then explained, the language for a commission mandates that Democrats and Republicans on the evenly divided panel have to agree in order to issue a subpoena.

Read more: Assassination threats, AOC potshots, and wolf teats: 2 wild weeks inside Marjorie Taylor Greene’s Georgia district as it flips a giant middle finger at DC

He contended that Democrats could use such a stipulation to put “a story out there saying” that a Democrat wants to subpoena an individual “but they can’t because Republicans are blocking it.”

“This is about damaging Republicans,” he said. “It’s about keeping the House majority in 2022 and winning elections and keeping this in the headlines.”

He added: “This is a partisan joke.”

The House passed the bill to establish the commission in a 252-175 vote, with thirty-five Republicans joining all 217 Democrats in supporting the bill.

Earlier this week, former President Donald Trump released a statement telling GOP lawmakers to oppose the legislation, specifically calling on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California.

“Republicans in the House and Senate should not approve the Democrat trap of the January 6 Commission,” he wrote. “Republicans must get much tougher and much smarter, and stop being used by the Radical Left. Hopefully, Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy are listening!”

McCarthy has expressed his opposition to the legislation, and McConnell came out against the bill this week, calling it a “slanted and unbalanced proposal.”

With McConnell’s disapproval of the bill on record, it now faces a difficult road in the Senate, where Democrats must secure 10 GOP votes to overcome a legislative filibuster.

Republicans like Rubio and Minority Whip John Thune of South Dakota are now largely rallying around the idea of a commission being used as a political football.

Thune recently told CNN that a January 6 commission could undermine Republican messaging as the party heads into the midterm elections.

“I want our midterm message to be on the kinds of things that the American people are dealing with: That’s jobs and wages and the economy and national security, safe streets and strong borders – not relitigating the 2020 elections,” he said. “A lot of our members, and I think this is true of a lot of House Republicans, want to be moving forward and not looking backward.”

Rubio is up for reelection in 2022 and could potentially face Democratic Rep. Val Demings, a former Orlando police chief and former Trump impeachment manager who is set to enter the race in the coming weeks.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Liz Cheney says the Capitol riot investigation ‘threatens’ GOP lawmakers because they ‘played a role they should not have been playing’

Rep. Liz Cheney speaks with NBC News after being voted out of leadership on Wednesday.
Rep. Liz Cheney speaks with NBC News after being voted out of leadership on Wednesday.

  • Liz Cheney said some of her GOP colleagues oppose an investigation into the Capitol riot because they played a role in it.
  • The commission “threatens people in my party who may have been playing a role they should not have been playing.”
  • She said accusations of violence associated with the Black Lives Matter protests should be investigated separately.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Rep. Liz Cheney said that some of her Republican colleagues in Congress are opposed to a bipartisan commission to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol riot because they helped provoke the attack or are otherwise culpable.

Cheney, who was ousted from leadership by her own party on Wednesday, has repeatedly called for a bipartisan commission comprised of retired officials with subpoena power to investigate the attack on the Capitol. But GOP leadership and many other lawmakers are opposed to a commission solely focused on the deadly assault and instead want to expand it to include violence that resulted from Black Lives Matter protests last summer.

“There is real concern among a number of members of my own party about a January 6th commission,” Cheney said. “That kind of intense, narrow focus threatens people in my party who may have been playing a role they should not have been playing.”

She argued that there’s no legitimate reason for lawmakers to oppose the proposed commission and noted that Congress has created similar commissions to investigate other attacks, including 9/11, President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, and the Pearl Harbor bombing.

Cheney argued that violence associated with the Black Lives Matter protests should be investigated separately.

“We should not dilute the investigation we have to have into January 6,” she said.

A slew of Republican lawmakers, including Sens. Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley and several House members, have been criticized for actively encouraging the pro-Trump loyalists who stormed the Capitol in the days leading up to Jan. 6 and even on the morning of the attack. 147 Republican lawmakers voted to overturn the 2020 presidential election results after the riot.

Far-right activist Ali Alexander, who organized the “Stop the Steal” rally that preceded the Capitol attack, says he planned the protest with help from GOP Rep. Paul Gosar and two other Republican members of Congress, Reps. Mo Brooks and Andy Biggs.

Cheney, who voted to impeach Trump for inciting the riot, called rejecting the GOP’s lies about the election and seeking justice for the Capitol riot “the most important issue we are facing right now as a country.” She’s urging her party to reject Trump’s “cult of personality” and rebuild itself on conservative principles and policy. She added that Trump should “never again be anywhere close to the Oval Office.”

“We have to embrace the Constitution, we have to reject the lie, because we have to be a party of substance,” Cheney said. “We have to be able to say to those voters who left us, you should trust us.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

Democratic congressman tells Marjorie Taylor Greene to ‘shut your seditious, QAnon-loving mouth’ after she calls his party ‘the enemy within’

marjorie taylor greene
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene is seen with her face mask pulled down as she speaks with a colleague on the floor of the House on January 3, 2021 for the swearing in of the new Congress.

  • Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego and GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene got into a heated Twitter exchange on Tuesday.
  • Gallego argued that Greene is an “insurrectionist” attempting to destroy US democracy after she called Democrats “the enemy within.”
  • In response, Greene called Gallego a “coward” and questioned his masculinity.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene got into a heated Twitter exchange on Tuesday, exposing the deep anger still roiling the ranks of Congress since the January 6 Capitol riot.

Gallego said the freshman Georgia Republican, who’s embraced a host of far-right conspiracy theories, was aligned with the Capitol rioters after she called her Democratic colleagues “the enemy within” in a tweet.

“I was trying to figure what type of pen to stab your friends with if they overran us on the floor of the House of Representatives while trying to conduct a democratic transition of power,” Gallego said. “So please shut your seditious, Qanon loving mouth when it comes to who loves America.”

Gallego, a Marine combat veteran from Arizona, helped his colleagues with their gas masks as pro-Trump loyalists stormed the Capitol in January. He also provided shelter in his office to several journalists after they were denied entry into a safe room.

In response, Greene accused Gallego of seeking attention, called him a “coward,” and questioned his masculinity.

“While you were hiding with your little pen, brave Republican MEN were helping police hold the door, so that ALL of us could get out safely. Coward,” she wrote.

Gallego then argued there were “many heroes” in the Capitol on January 6, but accused Greene of being one of the “many insurrectionist trying to destroy Democracy [sic].”

The Democrat ended the exchange by saying he didn’t have time for a Twitter feud because he was too busy with legislative work, which he added Greene “wouldn’t know about” because she was stripped of her committee assignments just a month after being sworn in to office.

“I would tweet back and forth with you but I have 2 committee assignments and a bill of mine is being marked,” he tweeted. “That we means it’s passing out of committee. (But you wouldn’t know about that).”

Read the original article on Business Insider