On Wednesday afternoon, Fanone saw and recognized Clyde and approached him.
“I was very cordial,” Fanone said on CNN. “I extended my hand to shake his hand. He just stared at me. I asked if he was going to shake my hand, and he told me that he didn’t who know I was. So I introduced myself. I said that I was Officer Michael Fanone. That I was a DC Metropolitan Police officer who fought on January 6 to defend the Capitol and, as a result, I suffered a traumatic brain injury as well as a heart attack after having been tased numerous times at the base of my skull, as well as being severely beaten. At that point, the congressman turned away from me.”
Turned away, he appeared to be trying to open an audio recording app on his phone, and, once the doors of a nearby elevator opened, “ran as quickly as he could, like a coward.”
”I took that particular interaction very personally,” Fanone said, “but I also took 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.”
Fanone also told The Washington Post that before Clyde claimed not to know who he was, “I knew immediately he recognized me by the way he reacted. He completely froze. He just stared at me.” Which makes sense—we know that Clyde is a lying coward and Fanone, who has a memorable appearance, has been frequently in the news. With the Capitol and congressional office buildings still closed to the public during COVID-19, the list of bearded men with neck tattoos likely to be approaching members of Congress in those places is limited.
Fanone also described to the Post an unpleasant experience with the “super confrontational” chief of staff for Republican Rep. Matthew Rosendale—another of the 21 Republicans who voted against honoring the officers who responded on Jan. 6—when Fanone and Harry Dunn, a Capitol Police officer, went to Rosendale’s office to schedule a meeting. Rosendale’s office, though, said the congressman would meet with Fanone and Dunn.
The Republican effort to cover up the reality of the Capitol attack reached another nadir on Tuesday when Rep. Paul Gosar tried to turn attention from the attack itself to demanding the name of the officer who shot and killed Ashli Babbitt as she climbed through a broken window to breach the Speaker’s Lobby. That officer was cleared of wrongdoing in April. According to Gosar, he “executed” Babbitt after “hiding, lying in wait,” and not giving warning. In fact the officer is visible in videos of the incident and that officer and others warned Babbitt to stop. But Gosar is determined to make her a martyr even as he and other Republicans paint the insurrection as simple tourism.
Later Wednesday, Clyde, Rosendale, and Gosar were among the 14 Republicans voting against making Juneteenth a federal holiday.