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Elijah Cummings's Pall Bearer Explains the Personal Reason He Refused to Shake Mitch McConnell's Hand

@EdwardTHardy/Twitter

The death of Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) sent a wave of sadness through lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, but longtime friend of Cummings, Bobby Rankin, brought a much-needed moment of levity when eagle-eyed viewers saw him snub Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) while shaking the hands of bipartisan lawmakers.

Watch below.


People weren't sure if it was an act of resistance or simply an oversight, but now Rankin is confirming to reporters that his denial was deliberate.

It has everything to do with Rankin's brother, whom McConnell denied veteran's benefits. Rankin's brother died of cancer last year after drinking contaminated water while serving in the Marines.

"When I saw Mitch McConnell, all I saw was my brother’s face," Rankin told The Washington Post.

He continued:

“I could not put my hands in the man’s hand who refused to help somebody who served his country. I couldn’t do it, because I was thinking about my brother.”

People wholeheartedly understood Rankin's decision.

McConnell has been almost completely rejected all semblance of partisanship and good faith since before Trump's election, when he proved to be a bulwark against any of the Obama administration's efforts—including the President's constitutional right to appoint a Supreme Court Justice. McConnell wouldn't even let the Senate vote on the appointment of Judge Merrick Garland, whom Obama chose to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia a year before the 2016 election.

Since then, McConnell has gone to pride himself as "the Grim Reaper" for his reliability in blocking numerous bills passed by the Democratic House of Representatives.

You can donate to McConnell's 2020 reelection opponent, Amy McGrath, here.