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Athens Reps. Andrew Clyde and Jody Hice Downplay Capitol Insurrection

Rep. Andrew Clyde.

Rep. Andrew Clyde said Wednesday that the people who breached the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 were peaceful and denied that the violent attack was an insurrection.

Clyde made his comments during a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing.

“There was no insurrection,” he said. “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 sixth, you’d actually think it was a normal tourist visit.”

Clyde’s description drew rebukes from both journalists and fellow Republicans, including Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution‘s Patricia Murphy.

Rep. Jody Hice denied that President Trump had any role in inciting violence and claimed that Trump supporters were the victims, not the perpetrators. He said “they marched peacefully and patriotically to make their voices heard at the Capitol.”

Clyde and Hice each represent deep-red districts that include a portion of Athens.

Thousands of people marched from a Trump rally to the Capitol after Trump told them to “stop the steal,” then forced their way past police as Congress was certifying the presidential election results. Lawmakers were evacuated as the mob looted offices and occupied the Senate floor. Five people died. Almost 500 rioters have been arrested.