Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.) stood by his comments comparing the riot that overtook the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 to what happens during a “normal tourist visit.”
Clyde made his initial comments at a committee hearing in May. He said that he helped his colleagues barricade a door to prevent a mob from breaking in — but, he added, it wasn’t that bad, because “the House floor was never breached.” While there were “some rioters,” he said it was a “bold-faced lie” to call it an insurrection.
“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,” Clyde said. “You know, if you didn’t know the TV footage was a video from Jan. 6, you would actually think it was a normal tourist visit.”
Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) pressed Clyde on those comments during a House Rules Committee hearing on Tuesday night. He read Clyde’s exact comments, to which the GOP lawmaker responded, “And I stand by that exact statement as I said it.”
Earlier in the day, Raskin was also at a hearing of the House select committee that is looking into the Jan. 6 attack, where police officers involved in defending the Capitol gave emotional testimony about what they witnessed. At that hearing, Raskin asked the officers about Clyde’s remarks: “Why do you call the attackers ‘terrorists,’ and what do you think about our colleagues who think we should call them ‘tourists?’”
“Well, if that’s what American tourists are like, I can see why foreign countries don’t like American tourists,” Metropolitan Police Department officer Daniel Hodges replied, standing by his characterization of the rioters as “terrorists.”
Clyde insisted on Tuesday night that he did not call members of the Jan. 6 mob “tourists.”
The footage and photos from that day look nothing like a normal day on Capitol Hill. HuffPost compiled some images from Jan. 6 and normal tourist visits. See if you can spot the differences.
Here we are outside the Capitol. Just some people visiting their elected representatives. Was this on Jan. 6 or another random day?
If you guessed Jan. 6, you’re right!
OK, next one. Here are more people gathered outside the Capitol, with law enforcement standing nearby. Was this Jan. 6 or just some other random day?
It was not Jan. 6. It was actually April 14, 2016.
This is definitely Jan. 6. Security lines to get into the Capitol can be long, but normal tourists do not try to beat police to break in.
Now we’re inside the Capitol ― the famous rotunda, to be specific. Are these people here to challenge the results of the 2020 presidential election?
No, they aren’t! They are just a group of tourists visiting the Capitol on March 12, 2020.
Here’s another rotunda picture. What is this chaos? Is this Jan. 6?
Nope! It’s just some other day, with a 4-year-old child taking a break from his tour group.
A lot of people visit the rotunda, so here’s another one. Jan. 6 or a normal day?
This is indeed Jan. 6. On a normal day, tourists do not stand on top of the statues.
Here we have a man with a Confederate flag. What day is this picture from?
This picture is from Jan. 6, when supporters of former President Donald Trump broke through security and walked around the Capitol freely.
This is Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) with a bunch of children wearing Trump gear. Are these tourists here to challenge the election?
Nope! These tourists are following the rules, and Ocasio-Cortez does not appear to be fearing for her life, as she did on Jan. 6.
OK, here’s the last one. What day?
It is not normal for there to be this sort of chaos and violence outside the Capitol. It was definitely from Jan. 6.
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