Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone has expressed disappointment with the response he received from U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-California, during a sought-after meeting between McCarthy and police officers who defended the U.S. Capitol from a deadly attack by pro-Trump rioters on Jan. 6, 2021.
Exiting the meeting in McCarthy’s Capitol office on June 25, 2021, Fanone said he asked McCarthy to denounce conspiracy theories and lies about the attack on the Capitol, in which Fanone and roughly 140 police officers from the Metro police department and U.S. Capitol Police were injured, some seriously.
Fanone told reporters that during the meeting, he had asked McCarthy to denounce 21 House Republicans who voted “no” on awarding the police officers who defended the Capitol the Congressional Gold Medal. He said he asked McCarthy to denounce statements by U.S. Rep. Andrew Clyde, R-Georgia, in which Clyde compared the attackers to tourists.
Fanone also said he asked McCarthy to publicly denounced the baseless claim that the Capitol attack was organized by the FBI. On June 15, 2021, Fox News host Tucker Carlson prominently promoted that conspiracy theory.
“The FBI is the best investigative agency that we have in this country,” Fanone said. “And I think that members [of Congress], as well as members of the media, that are espousing those remarks are disgusting.”
We reached out to a spokesman for McCarthy, asking about Fanone’s account of the meeting and whether McCarthy planned to take any of the actions requested by the police officer. We will update this story if we receive a response.
Fanone, who has been on leave due to injuries sustained during the attack, became emotional with reporters when he spoke about his colleagues who are currently on the job, including U.S. Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn, who had accompanied him to the meeting with McCarthy.
Here is video of Fanone’s reaction to the meeting, as filmed and posted by Forbes.
Fanone said he had tried for weeks to secure a meeting with McCarthy but his requests were ignored.
I just spoke with a very upset Officer Michael Fanone. It’s #PoliceWeek and for weeks Ofc. Fanone has made multiple requests to talk to @GOPLeader. He wants to show McCarthy what he experienced on 1/6. Today he was hung up on by McCarthy’s staff. RT if Kevin should meet a hero.
— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) May 12, 2021
Fanone also said that Clyde had refused to shake his hand, earning Clyde a rebuke from a bipartisan duo of congressman, Swalwell and Adam Kinzinger, a California Democrat and Illinois Republican, respectively.
I just called Officer Fanone and confirmed this story. This is really incredible. Also relayed an interaction he had with another members Chief of Staff that was really incredibly bad and disrespectful. https://t.co/fERYjK6dWg
— Adam Kinzinger (@AdamKinzinger) June 16, 2021
Fanone’s body camera footage from the Jan. 6 attack showed he was beaten by rioters until he became unconscious.
An image of his panicked face as he was stranded among rioters who were assaulting him, along with video of fellow Metro police officer Daniel Hodges being beaten while bloody and trapped by rioters in an elevator door, became some of the violent, iconic moments that symbolized the extent to which police officers fought hand-to-hand to secure the Capitol.
Trump supporters who attacked the Capitol were motivated by lies from former U.S. President Donald Trump and his supporters alleging the 2020 presidential election was stolen by a massive scale voter fraud conspiracy.