More than six months after extremist supporters of former President Donald Trump stormed the United States Capitol in an effort to overturn the results of the 2020 election, right-wing lawmakers and media personalities continue to downplay the severity of the Capitol Riots.
One of these Republicans is Congressman Andrew Clyde of Georgia, who generated controversy this past May when he said the riots simply resembled a "normal tourist visit."
Clyde's exact words were:
"There was no insurrection, and to call it an insurrection, in my opinion, is a bold-faced lie. 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 sixth, you'd actually think it was a normal tourist visit."
As hours upon hours of video footage confirm, the deadly failed insurrection was violent, with rioters shattering windows, beating police officers, ransacking offices, and calling for the execution of any lawmaker they deemed disloyal to Trump, including his own Vice President, Mike Pence.
In a House Rules Committee hearing on Tuesday, just hours after the House Select Committee heard harrowing testimony from police officers who defended the Capitol, Democratic Congressman Jamie Raskin of Maryland, called Clyde out in a tense exchange.
Explosive back-and-forth in the Rules Committee as Jan. 6 select committee member Jamie Raskin uses his time to gri… https://t.co/uhISEP80HI— Andrew Solender (@Andrew Solender) 1627430210.0
Raskin addressed Clyde:
"[The officers] were asked the question by several of our colleagues ... about statements that you made, saying that the January 6 violent insurrection against Congress was akin to a 'normal tourist visit,' and those officers said they weren't tourists, they were terrorists. Do you stand by your statement that they were tourists?"
"I would like you to quote my exact statement, not your interpretation of my statement."
When Raskin did just that, Clyde retorted:
"I stand by that exact statement, as I said it."
Raskin emphasized the testimony of the officers just hours before, and asked if Clyde agreed with their evaluation that the rioters were terrorists.
Clyde proceeded to deflect.
The tense exchange made waves across social media.
Having an infinite capacity of shameless is a prerequisite to being a pro-Trump member of the modern GOP. https://t.co/ytHdkSr6U4— Ahmed Baba (@Ahmed Baba) 1627490202.0
It could be surmised that Andrew Clyde is either incapable of rational thought or is deeply duplicitous. Either one… https://t.co/VDokVO140u— 🌊🔥💉𝕍𝕒𝕔𝕔𝕚𝕟𝕒𝕥𝕖𝕕 𝕍𝕖𝕤𝕦𝕧𝕚𝕦𝕤 💉🔥🌊 (@🌊🔥💉𝕍𝕒𝕔𝕔𝕚𝕟𝕒𝕥𝕖𝕕 𝕍𝕖𝕤𝕦𝕧𝕚𝕦𝕤 💉🔥🌊) 1627471722.0
There is no doubt that @Rep_Clyde was not misquoted or taken out of context and when given multiple opportunities t… https://t.co/9mbhswPdE4— Pete Fuller (@Pete Fuller) 1627482244.0
Unfreakin' believable that these cowards con't to lie to appease some1 who is clearly deranged, a danger to this co… https://t.co/Zugi5nQp3s— EL Brooks (@EL Brooks) 1627490863.0
Force Clyde to watch video of the insurrectionists and then explain the similarities to a normal tour. https://t.co/UcuxwvOUKD— larry mondo (@larry mondo) 1627491599.0
Wow. Dude. https://t.co/NudTdoC68O— Sherry Ahearn, sans appendix. (@Sherry Ahearn, sans appendix.) 1627491371.0
People pointed to photos of a rightly fearful Clyde on the House floor during the insurrection.
Here is a photo of GA Congressman @Rep_Clyde barricading the House chamber from what he called “tourists.”… https://t.co/JhWx90kDfQ— Nabilah Islam (@Nabilah Islam) 1627490800.0
In which Rep Clyde doubles down on his lies about #January6th, despite photographic evidence of him being protected… https://t.co/o8rJJii3pv— 𝕬𝖑𝖆𝖉𝖉𝖎𝖓𝕴𝖓𝖘𝖆𝖓𝖊 🌈🌟♿️🌊➕ (@𝕬𝖑𝖆𝖉𝖉𝖎𝖓𝕴𝖓𝖘𝖆𝖓𝖊 🌈🌟♿️🌊➕) 1627488446.0
Raskin concluded by urging Clyde and the rest of his colleagues to watch the testimony of the officers.