Did a Georgia Congressman claim Capitol insurrectionists were just tourists?

A Georgia Congressman is under fire this week from both Republicans and Democrats after his remarks at a Congressional hearing, where he claimed that the insurrectionists who invaded the U.S. Capitol Jan. 6 were normal tourists.

The Congressman: The Congressman who made the claims is Republican Andrew Clyde. He represents Georgia’s 9th Congressional District and is from Athens.

Who does he represent: The 9th district runs from Athens to much of Northeast Georgia. If you live in Catoosa, Dade, Dawson, Fannin, Gilmer, Habersham, Hall, Jackson, Lumpkin, Murray, Pickens,Union, White, Walker, and Whitfield counties, Clyde represents you. If you live in Forsyth and Gordon Counties, Clyde may represent you as well.

The quote: Here is the quote, taken from Clyde’s testimony before a House oversight committee on Wednesday.

“There was no insurrection and to call it an insurrection, in my opinion, is a bold-faced lie. 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.”

The Response: Clyde has been criticized for being tone-deaf by both Republicans and Democrats with some of his harshest criticism coming from fellow Republican and Georgia Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan. Duncan responded on Twitter with his own remarks and a tweet containing a video of Clyde’s remarks alongside footage of the Jan. 6 attack. Duncan’s response is below.

More About The 9th District: The District 9 seat was previously held by Doug Collins, an ardent Trump supporter who defended Trump during his first impeachment inquiry. Collins ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate last year.

According to United States Census Data, the 9th district has a population of 714,378, is 87% white, has an unemployment rate of 12.4% and a median household income of $41,786. In terms of education, 79.5% of 9th district residents graduated high school and only 19% graduated college.

This article is part of an ongoing series highlighting statements by public officials called The Public Record, where we present recent quotes by public officials or candidates. You may not be able to attend every public meeting or see every occasion where your representatives speak, but you still have a right to know what your representatives and those who hope to represent you have been saying.

“Because public men and women are amenable ‘at all times’ to the people, they must conduct the public’s business out in the open.” -Charles L. Weltner Sr., former Chief Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court

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