WASHINGTON — Rep. Andrew Clyde, R-Ga., who infamously compared the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol to “a normal tourist visit,” steadfastly stood by his contention Tuesday night during an extended spirited exchange with Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md.
The clash came during a Rules Committee meeting several hours after Raskin had taken part in a House select committee hearing with four police officers who were on the scene when a violent mob of supporters of President Donald Trump breached the Capitol.
During the earlier hearing, Raskin questioned one of the officers, Daniel Hodges of the Washington D.C. force, about Clyde’s comparison. Hodges rejected it, instead repeatedly using the word “terrorists” to describe those who took part in the riot.
During the Rules Committee meeting, Raskin pressed Clyde on whether he had watched the testimony of the officers earlier in the day.
Clyde said that question was “absolutely irrelevant” to the matter in front of the Rules Committee.
“He refuses to say whether or not he heard the Capitol officers who risked their lives and have experienced traumatic medical injuries,” Raskin said. “That’s his prerogative.”
Raskin then noted that the “tourist” comparison was rejected by Hodges.
“Do you stand by your statement that they were tourists?” Raskin asked Clyde.
Clyde objected to that question, claiming Raskin had taken his words from a May congressional hearing out of context, instead offering “your interpretation of my statement.”
Raskin had Clyde’s full comments handy and read them: “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 6th, you would actually think it was a normal tourist visit.”
“Those are your words,” Raskin said.
“And I stand by that exact statement as I said it,” Clyde responded.
He later insisted that he did not say that those who breached the Capitol were “tourists.”
“That is not my statement!” Clyde said, growing increasingly agitated with Raskin.
“You want to make this another January 6th hearing, and this is not! This is the Rules Committee!” Clyde said.
In the earlier select committee hearing, Hodges pushed back on the comparison of the violent mob to tourists.
“If that’s what American tourists are like, I can see why foreign countries don’t like American tourists,” Hodges quipped.