During the ceremony honoring law enforcement officials who protected the Capitol during the January 6 attack, tensions between Republican lawmakers and honorees were on full display.
The incident displaying the tensions occurred while legislative leaders were presenting law enforcement personnel the Congressional Gold Medal.
The moment, which gained widespread attention, shows the brother of deceased Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick — who passed one day after the Capitol attack from natural causes after suffering several strokes — snubbing Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA.). The deceased officer’s brother refused to shake McConnell and McCarthy’s hands after shaking hands with Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.).
After the ceremony, Ken Sicknick described his actions as “self-explanatory” when questioned by reporters.
Sicknick elaborated on the snub, saying that following the January 6 Capitol riot, both McCarthy and McConnell had condemned the events but have since “backstepped,” “danced,” and “won’t admit to wrongdoing,” which he blamed on “whatever hold that Trump has on them.”
Shortly after the Capitol attack, McCarthy took to the House floor and gave a speech that asserted Trump bore responsibility for the attack. However, within days McCarthy was visiting former President Donald Trump at his Mar-a-Lago estate.
When reporters asked if McCarthy and McConnell deserved a handshake, Sicknick responded, “no.”
Instead, Sicknick noted that “Unlike [Rep.] Liz Cheney, they have no idea what integrity is.”
He added that the pair couldn’t “stand up for what’s right and wrong,” explaining that McCarthy and McConnel were putting “party first.”