In an extraordinarily candid and profane interview with Rolling Stone, Michael Fanone – the former Washington police officer who was seriously hurt at the US Capitol during the January 6 attack – called the Republican House leader, potentially the next speaker, a “fucking weasel bitch”.
Fanone said past Republican giants would be unimpressed with Kevin McCarthy.
“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 said.
“They did some fucking above-average things. And they’ve got to adorn the wall of this fucking weasel bitch named Kevin McCarthy, with his fake fucking spray-on tan, whose fucking claim to fame, at least in my eyes, is the fact that he amassed a collection of Donald Trump’s favorite-flavored Starburst, put them in a Mason jar, and presented them to fucking Donald Trump.
“What the fuck, dude?”
Fanone’s remarks came as he promoted his memoir, Hold the Line, which will be published next week.
The title refers to Fanone’s actions on 6 January 2021, when he, a DC Metropolitan officer, answered calls from Capitol police and rushed to confront Trump supporters storming Congress in an attempt to stop certification of the outgoing president’s defeat to Joe Biden in the 2020 election.
Fanone suffered a heart attack and a traumatic brain injury. He has since left the police and emerged, with other officers, as a key witness in hearings held by the House January 6 committee. The riot has been linked to nine deaths, including suicides among law enforcement officers. More than 900 rioters have been charged, some with seditious conspiracy.
In his Rolling Stone interview, Fanone also had harsh words for far-right Republicans including Marjorie Taylor Greene (“Put her in the tinfoil-hat brigade”) and Josh Hawley.
Of Hawley, the Missouri senator, Fanone said: “He comes down there, flashes the sign of solidarity, [and] riles up this fucking crowd.”
Hawley was famously pictured raising a fist to protesters – a picture he has used for fundraising purposes.
Fanone continued: “I would’ve had more respect for him if he said, ‘Charge,’ and fucking rushed the first fucking group of police officers that he could possibly fucking find. But he didn’t. He ran like a bitch as fast as he fucking could to the closest safe room in the fucking Capitol building.”
Among other startling footage from the Capitol on January 6, the House committee has shown security video in which Hawley is seen running through the Capitol as the mob breaks in.
Fanone, now an analyst for CNN, said his new mission in life was to “wag[e] a one-man war against Donald Trump and the fucking people that refuse to accept reality”.
Of Republicans under McCarthy and as high in the party as Trump who have sought to downplay the Capitol attack, he said: “You call [January 6] a ‘tourist day’, You say it was ‘hugs and kisses’. I’m going to be that fucking inconvenient motherfucker that pops his head up every time you say some stupid shit like that.”
He also said he does not want to be thought of as an American hero, in part because “Motherfuckers think [former vice-president] Mike Pence is a goddamn hero” for resisting Trump’s scheme to stay in power, and “don’t lump me in with that fucking pathetic coward”.
Discussing his work for CNN, Fanone described how he has had to moderate his language on air – and how he “did get in a lot of trouble for saying I thought history was going to shit on Mike Pence’s head”.
“They thought that it was inciteful language,” Fanone also remarked. “I said, ‘Listen’ – this is an actual conversation I had – ‘if a person named History takes a shit on Mike Pence’s head, I will apologise for having incited that behavior. But until a person named History literally takes a shit on Mike Pence’s head, I’m not saying shit, nor do I regret what I said, because history is going to shit on Mike Pence’s head.’”
He added: “History is going to be busy.”
Fanone said he thought most of those who physically attacked the Capitol might eventually be brought to account but doubted that those who incited the riot, from Trump down, would face the consequences of their actions.
“To me,” he said, “every last one of them should have been charged with sedition. These guys love 1776” – the year of the American revolution – “so much. They should be damned glad we’re not in 1776 because I’m pretty sure they would all end up on the fucking business end of a musket or the gallows.”
Fanone did have kind words for one congressman: Jamie Raskin of Maryland, a Democrat on the January 6 committee. But Fanone said the professor of constitutional law, being a “super-intellectual type”, was “not designed for what lies ahead” in a divided America.
Fanone also said he was publishing his memoir because he was going “broke” after resigning his job.
“I’m pretty sure that’s why people do things like this,” he said. “I said the things that I said for free and fucking destroyed my career, made my job untenable, and then tried to make hard lemonade out of lemons.”
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