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rebuffed

Officer injured in Capitol riot says GOP lawmaker refused to shake his hand, ran away 'like a coward'

A police officer who was injured in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot is calling out a Republican lawmaker he says refused to shake his hand and ran away from him "like a coward." 

DC Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone in an appearance on Don Lemon's CNN show discussed a recent visit to the Capitol, during which he hoped to schedule appointments to speak with Republicans who voted against a bill awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to the officers who defended Congress on Jan. 6. Fanone, who suffered a traumatic brain injury during the pro-Trump riot, told CNN that he tried to shake hands with Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.), but the congressman "just stared at me" and refused to do so while they were in an elevator together. 

After Fanone introduced himself and explained he fought to defend the Capitol, he says that Clyde "turned away from me" and appeared to be trying to open a recording app on his phone. 

"As soon as the elevator doors opened, he ran as quickly as he could, like a coward," Fanone said

Fanone added that he took this "very personally" and also saw 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." 

Clyde's office didn't respond to a request for comment from CNN. The Republican lawmaker was previously criticized for downplaying the riot during a congressional hearing, claiming "there was no insurrection" and that videos from the day of the riot actually resembled a "normal tourist visit." Fanone told CNN he "felt compelled" to confront Clyde, in particular, due to his comments on the riot. 

"He just out and out lied," Fanon said of Clyde. "The reality is, at this point, if you're going to sling bulls--- about Jan. 6, I'm going to call you out on it, and you're going to be held accountable."