Wednesday, Michael Fanone
, a D.C.
police officer who was repeatedly beaten and electroshocked by the insurrectionist mob that attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, called Rep. Andrew Clyde
(R-GA) a "coward" for refusing to confront him about the ordeal.
Clyde famously tried to portray the deadly riot as a "normal tourist visit," despite being photographed on Jan. 6 attempting to barricade a door to the House gallery, and he was one of 21 House Republicans
who voted on Tuesday against awarding a Congressional Gold Medal to all police officers who responded to the insurgency.
Fanone went to Capitol Hill
on Wednesday to meet with lawmakers and educate them on what he and his colleagues went through, according to CNN's Don Lemon
He claimed to have met Clyde while there and attempted to introduce himself in an elevator.
“I was very cordial. I extended my hand to shake his hand, and he just stared at me. I asked him if he was going to shake my hand, and he said he didn't know who I was,” he explained.
“So I introduced myself, saying that I was Officer Michael Fanone, a D.C. Metropolitan police
officer who fought to defend the Capitol on January 6th, and that as a result of being tased numerous times at the base of my skull, as well as being severely beaten, I suffered a traumatic brain injury
as well as a heart attack.”
21 House Republicans voted against awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to police officers who defended the Capitol on January 6, and he tells @donlemon what happened. Watch
: pic.twitter.com/KVVOuHA3Hl — Don Lemon Tonight (@DonLemonTonight) June 17, 2021
Clyde then turned away from him and pulled out his cellphone, according to Fanone, and “as soon as the elevator doors opened, he ran as fast as he could like a coward.”
Rep. Eric Swalwell
(D-Calif.) had earlier in the day tweeted about the incident, accusing House Republicans of dishonoring police in order to honor former President Donald Trump
Clyde did not respond to Stardia's request for comment on the interaction right away.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger
(R-Ill.), one of the few Republicans willing to condemn Trump's 2020 election lies
, praised the exchange as "incredible."
“Every now and then, I think, we have to be at the bottom of how low we can get,” Kinzinger said after the incident. “You don’t have to admit you should have voted for [the Gold Medal] by shaking a guy’s hand. The presence of these heroes
can make some people
Fanone, who was featured in a viral video
from the riot, has since become an unofficial spokesperson against lawmakers who seek to rewrite history
and minimize what happened on Jan. 6.