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GOP Rep Defends Saying Jan. 6 Riot Looked Like a 'Normal Tourist Visit'

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Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.) says he stands by his assertion that the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol was not an insurrection and instead looked like a “normal tourist visit.”

On Tuesday, four police officers who helped defend the Capitol testified before a select committee investigating the violence about their experience battling back rioters who stormed the building.

Later in the day, during a Rules Committee hearing, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), who serves on the Jan. 6 committee, confronted Clyde about his comments. He asked, “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,” Clyde responded.

Raskin read the Congressman’s comments, “‘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.”

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“And I stand by that exact statement as I said it,” Clyde said.

Raskin asked, “Do you agree or disagree with the officers who spent four or five hours battling that medieval mob that had baseball bats and lead pipes and so on, do you stand by the statement that the people that they were fighting were tourists? Or would agree with them that they were terrorists?”

However, Clyde countered, “That statement did not say that those people were tourists. Okay, read the statement.”

Watch the video below:

“I’m asking you now. You’ve got the opportunity to tell America right now,” Raskin began as he raised his voice prompting the committee’s chairman to ask him to lower his voice. “You’ve got the opportunity to clarify for the whole country right now…Do you think that what they experienced was an attack by tourists or terrorists or violent insurrections?”

The Georgia Congressman responded, “If you will read the first part of my statement…”

But Raskin interrupted, “I’m not interested in that…”

Clyde fired back, “You’re not interested in my statement, are you?”

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In May, Clyde claimed, “You know, if you didn’t know the TV footage was a video from January the sixth, you would actually think it was a normal tourist visit.”

Footage from the Capitol on Jan. 6 showed rioters smashing windows and vandalizing other parts of the building as Congress was scheduled to meet to certify the results of the Electoral College.

The incident left five people dead, and more than 100 police officers were injured during the violence.

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