- Michael Fanone said Kevin McCarthy told him he couldn’t “control” GOP “fringe” over Jan. 6 views.
- In an interview with CNN’s Don Lemon, Fanone recounted his disappointment after meeting with the GOP leader.
- The former Metropolitan Police officer’s book, “Hold the Line,” will be released on Tuesday.
Former Washington, DC, Metropolitan Police office Michael Fanone in a recent interview said House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told him that he couldn’t “control” the fringe members of the GOP regarding their opinions of the January 6, 2021, riot at the United States Capitol.
Fanone — who served as a Metropolitan officer for roughly 20 years before resigning from the force last December — told CNN anchor Don Lemon on “Don Lemon Tonight” that it was he was shocked by the California Republican’s inability to reign in members of his party who were downplaying and minimizing the events of January 6.
The former officer — who is now an on-air contributor to the network — informed Lemon that after leaving a meeting with McCarthy last year, he felt “disillusioned and depressed.”
“He didn’t really say a whole lot of anything. There really wasn’t a lot of substance to the conversation outside of the fact that I asked for some specific things, and one of them being that he would denounce members of the party that were downplaying and denying the reality of January 6 — the reality of Donald Trump’s involvement with January 6. And he wouldn’t agree to do so,” Fanone said.
He continued: “And even more so, he said that he couldn’t control these fringe members of his party, which I thought was pretty shocking coming from somebody who calls himself Leader McCarthy, being the leader of the House GOP.”
Fanone remarked that he felt a sense of “indifference” as he sought to get accountability for the attack, during which he was beaten unconscious and tased on his neck. He also suffered a mild heart attack and a traumatic brain injury.
“The fact that I sat there in a room, having been a victim of the violence that day sitting next to the mother of a dead police officer — that being Brian Sicknick — and seeing a person who chose his political future and what he thought would be best for his party rather than to show some level of compassion or empathy for the people that were sitting in front of him,” Fanone said of McCarthy.
“To him, we were an inconvenience,” he added.
Officer Sicknick, who was a member of the Capitol Police force, suffered two strokes and passed away on January 7, 2021. The Washington, DC, chief medical examiner ruled that he died of natural causes.
Since last year, Fanone has been critical of McCarthy’s actions after January 6.
In May 2021, Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell of California tweeted that Fanone had been “hung up on” by McCarthy’s staff, a claim that the GOP congressman’s office denied.
McCarthy at the time expressed interest in speaking with Fanone, whom he met with the following month, alongside Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn.
However, Fanone walked away feeling dissatisfied with the experience.
“I asked McCarthy to denounce the Republicans that voted against the Gold Medal bill that would recognize and honor my coworkers and colleagues that fought to secure the Capitol on January 6,” Fanone told reporters at the Capitol at the time.
The then-officer also requested that McCarthy reject the comments of GOP Rep. Andrew Clyde of Georgia, who argued that calling January 6 an insurrection was a “bald-faced lie.”
When Fanone was asked at the time if McCarthy had agreed to his requests, he replied: “Not in my mind, no.”
In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Fanone lit into McCarthy, calling him a “weasel.”
“I think at night, when the lights are turned off, Abe Lincoln and Ronald Reagan have some pretty choice words to say about the fact that they have to hang on Kevin McCarthy’s wall,” Fanone told the publication.
Insider reached out to McCarthy’s office for comment.
Fanone’s forthcoming book, “Hold the Line: The Insurrection and One Cop’s Battle for America’s Soul,” will be released on Tuesday.