GOP lawmaker who called Capitol riot 'normal tourist visit' says he 'stands by' comment

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Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-GA) defended his comment the same day four law enforcement officers detailed the brutality they faced at the hands of the pro-Trump mob on Jan. 6.

A Republican lawmaker who has come under fire for his attempt to whitewash the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol refused to apologize for his remarks on Tuesday, saying he stands by his decision to call the attack a "normal tourist visit."

The moment came during a House Rules Committee hearing Tuesday night, which took place just hours after four law enforcement officers who responded to the insurrection detailed the brutality they faced from the Donald Trump-supporting mob that sought to block certification of President Joe Biden's Electoral College victory.

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) asked Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-GA) whether he wanted to amend his statement calling the attack a "normal tourist visit" after the law enforcement officers who testified earlier in the day said they were angry that people like Clyde would downplay the horrors of Jan. 6.

D.C. Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone, who was tased many times during the riot and suffered a heart attack that day, called behavior like Clyde's "disgraceful."

But Clyde refused to back down from his remark.

Clyde's full remark from May 2021 reads:

Watching the TV footage of those who entered the Capitol and walked through Statuary Hall showed people in an orderly fashion staying between the stanchions and ropes, taking videos and pictures. You know, if you didn’t know the TV footage was a video from January the 6th, you would actually think it was a normal tourist visit.

After Raskin read Clyde's comment aloud, Clyde replied, "I stand by that exact statement as I said it."

Clyde made the "tourist" comment even though he was photographed on the day of the insurrection looking worried as he helped barricade the doors to the House chamber while the mob tried to break its way in, not traditionally behavior that's associated with tourists.

He also isn't the only Republican who has attempted to whitewash the events on Jan. 6.

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) has falsely said the insurrectionists weren't armed, though FBI Director Christopher Wray later testified under oath that at least one person arrested brought a gun into the Capitol.

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) has tried to blame the attack on Capitol Police officers, some of whom were attacked for hours by the mob that broke into the building.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.