Trump SCOTUS Pick Refuses Handshake From Father of Parkland Victim
Brett Kavanaugh, Donald Trump’s nomination to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court, had his first day of confirmation hearings today on Capitol Hill. There, Kavanaugh appeared to refuse a handshake from Fred Guttenberg, whose 14-year-old daughter Jamie was killed in the Stoneman Douglas school shooting in February. Photos show Guttenberg extending his hand to the judge when the hearing broke for lunch and Kavanaugh immediately scurrying away.
AP photographer Andrew Harnik shared an arresting image of Guttenberg extending his hand while Kavanaugh looks him in the eye while both hands are occupied buttoning his blazer.
Fred Guttenberg, the father of Jamie Guttenberg who was killed in the shooting in Parkland, Fla., left, tries to shake hands with @realDonaldTrump’s Supreme Court nom., Brett Kavanaugh, right, during a lunch break. Kavanaugh did not shake his hand. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) @ap pic.twitter.com/smcCGuLT6X
— Andrew Harnik (@andyharnik) September 4, 2018
Video of the interaction paints Kavanaugh in a poor light looking like he can’t get away from Guttenberg fast enough.
“Just walked up to Judge Kavanaugh as morning session ended. Put out my hand to introduce myself as Jaime Guttenberg’s dad,” Guttenberg tweeted after the incident. “He pulled his hand back, turned his back to me and walked away. I guess he did not want to deal with the reality of gun violence.”
— Tommy Christopher (@tommyxtopher) September 4, 2018
“As Judge Kavanaugh left for his lunch break, an unidentified individual approached him,” White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah tweeted. “Before the Judge was able to shake his hand, security had intervened.”
Shah then tweeted video from another angle that he claimed bolstered the White House’s version of events.
— Raj Shah (@RajShah45) September 4, 2018
A close-up video from NBC News shows that a security person didn’t show up until after Guttenberg introduced himself, and even then, he didn’t do much in the way of whisking since Kavanaugh briskly turned and got the fuck out of there on his own.
Fred Guttenberg, father of Parkland victim, Jaime, tries to shakes hands with Brett Kavanaugh: “My daughter was murdered at Parkland.”
White House says an “unidentified individual approached” Kavanaugh, but “before the judge was able to shake his hand, security had intervened.” pic.twitter.com/IerpDMOW0h
— NBC News (@NBCNews) September 4, 2018
Guttenberg also explicitly disputed Shah’s version of events.
Incorrect. I was here all day and introduced by Senator Feinstein. No security involved. He turned and walked away.
— Fred Guttenberg (@fred_guttenberg) September 4, 2018