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Jamie Raskin corners GOP congressman who said Capitol rioters looked like normal tourists in fiery clash

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Maryland Democratic Representative Jamie Raskin cornered GOP Georgia congressman Andrew Clyde, calling him out on his statement that some Capitol rioters looked like tourists, in a heated exchange.

During a hearing of the rules committee in the House on Tuesday night, Mr Raskin brought up Mr Clyde’s statement from May, in which he said that if you looked at the footage from 6 January, “you would actually think it was a normal tourist visit”.

Mr Raskin initiated the 10-minute clash by asking Mr Clyde if he had watched that morning’s hearing of the 6 January select committee, where four police officers who fought the pro-Trump mob gave testimony about their experiences that day. Mr Raskin is one of the representatives on the committee.

“Let’s stick to the amendment,” Mr Clyde said, pushing back on the line of questioning.

When Mr Raskin kept putting on the pressure concerning whether Mr Clyde had watched the officers’ testimony, the Republican said: “It’s absolutely irrelevant to this amendment right here.”

“He refuses to say whether or not he heard the Capitol officers who risked their lives and have experienced traumatic medical injuries,” Mr Raskin said. “That’s his prerogative.”

Mr Raskin brought up Mr Clyde’s statement earlier that day during the hearing when he noted that Washington Metropolitan Police Department Officer Daniel Hodges repeatedly used the word “terrorists” to refer to the rioters.

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“If that’s what American tourists are like, I can see why foreign countries don’t like American tourists,” Mr Hodges told Mr Raskin on Tuesday morning when asked to comment on some saying that members of the mob were resembling tourists.

“Do you stand by your statement that they were tourists?” Mr Raskin asked Mr Clyde on Tuesday night.

“Quote my exact statement, not your interpretation of my statement,” Mr Clyde responded.

Mr Raskin then read Mr Clyde’s statement: “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,” Mr Raskin said.

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

Mr Raskin noted that the officers who testified that morning had “battl[ed] that medieval mob” and again pushed Mr Clyde on whether he thought they were tourists.

“That statement did not say that those people were tourists,” Mr Clyde said.

“I have read your statement once,” Mr Raskin said. “Lots of people online believed your statement that it was a normal tourist visit.”

“That is not my statement!” Mr Clyde said, arguing that Mr Raskin was misquoting him.

“I’m not responsible for an internet meme, okay?” Mr Clyde said.

“You want to make this another January 6th hearing, and this is not! This is the rules committee!” the Republican added.

Ending the clash, Mr Raskin called Mr Clyde’s words “dangerous” and encouraged him to watch the officers’ testimony from that morning.

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