The Congressional Gold Medal was first awarded to General George Washington in March of 1776, before he became President. Since then it has been awarded during nearly 200 events, but Tuesday was possibly the first time recipients have publicly refused to shake the hands of a congressional leader – or two.
Law enforcement officers, some of whom gave their lives to help defend the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, are being awarded for their bravery with the Congressional Gold Medal, but in Tuesday’s ceremony several refused to shake the hands of Senate Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
Video shows multiple recipients or their family members shaking the hand of Senate Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, then, as Leader McConnell extends his hand, they walk past him and Leader McCarthy, who did not even bother to extend his.
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At the end of the clip, many can be seen applauding except McConnell and McCarthy.
Video captures the recipients of the Congressional Gold Medal refusing to shake Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s hand at the ceremony on Tuesday pic.twitter.com/MwgfIhvJ5b
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) December 6, 2022
Republicans have falsely tried to pin the blame for the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol, widely described as an attempted coup, on Capitol Police and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, despite then-President Trump having incited the rioters. Documentary video released by the U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack showed Speaker Pelosi clearly in charge that day, working to get the National Guard and other assistance from the Dept. of Defense and others, contrary to false claims made by McCarthy and other Republicans.
Family members of slain Officer Brian Sicknick, who served on the U.S. Capitol Police Force from 2008 until his death on January 7, 2021, explained why they refused to shake the hands of Sen. McConnell or Rep. McCarthy.
As they condemned the January 6 attack, Ken Sicknick, Brian’s brother, told CBS News’ Scott Macfarlane, “whatever hold that Trump has on them, they backstopped and danced – they won’t admit to wrongdoing” by Trump and the rioters.
Sicknick went on to blast U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), “who presented an American flag, flown over the Capitol, to a January 6 rioter, and told them they were a ‘patriot,’ it’s disgusting. Takes away everything my brother’s done.”
“Unlike Liz Cheney, they have no idea what integrity is,” Sicknick said of Republicans.
FLASH: Family of officer Brian Sicknick refuses to shake hands with Sen McConnell and Rep McCarthy at Congressional gold medal ceremony. Brian’s brother Ken Sicknick tells me why ====> pic.twitter.com/Y34CI8MCTi
— Scott MacFarlane (@MacFarlaneNews) December 6, 2022
Watch the videos above or at this link.