As Republican defenders of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh drone on in his confirmation hearing about the strength of character that the Trump pick to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy possesses, Kavanaugh foolishly undermined their fawning praise with his behavior towards the father of a shooting victim in the Parkland, Florida school shootings.
Fred Guttenberg, who lost his 14-year-old daughter to the tragic and unnecessary gun violence at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, tried to introduce himself to the Supreme Court nominee during a break in the Senate confirmation hearings. Guttenberg described Kavanaugh’s despicable reaction in a post on his Twitter feed.
Just walked up to Judge Kavanaugh as morning session ended. Put out my hand to introduce myself as Jaime Guttenberg's dad. 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.
— Fred Guttenberg (@fred_guttenberg) September 4, 2018
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The still-grieving father has been a strong political presence in the fight for sensible gun regulations since the loss of his child, so many critics on the right may see his account of the encounter as an exaggerated partisan slam based on Guttenberg’s desire to see the conservative judge’s nomination rejected rather than on any actual interaction.
Luckily Andrew Harnick, an AP photographer covering the hearings, captured the moment. If one picture is worth a thousand words, the look of contempt on Kavanaugh’s face is an encyclopedia of disdain.
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
Kavanaugh’s slight towards the anti-gun activist is even more pronounced in the video version of the encounter. One would think the proffered hand was laden with Ebola by the way the Supreme Court nominee reacts to it.
The video proves that the response issued by the White House about the incident — which claimed that an “unidentified individual approached” Kavanaugh, but “before the judge was able to shake his hand, security had intervened” — was nothing but a bold-faced lie.
Response from @rajshah45 of the White House: "As Judge Kavanaugh left for his lunch break, an unidentified individual approached him. Before the Judge was able to shake his hand, security had intervened." https://t.co/ne8TDcp8ag
— Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) September 4, 2018
The president and his allies have made it clear that they care nothing about the tens of thousands of lives lost every year to needless gun violence; this incident makes it clear that his Supreme Court Justice nominee doesn’t either.
You can judge for yourself in the video clip of the encounter below.
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/JIbTnQjpyE
— NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt (@NBCNightlyNews) September 4, 2018
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