“Elise Stefanik Has None of the Fundamental Qualities of True Leadership. She Has No Honor, No Integrity, No Courage”: Officer Michael Fanone on Potential Censure of Rep. Stefanik
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Former D.C. police officer and Courage for America Councilmember Michael Fanone, who was severely injured while defending the Capitol on January 6th, spoke with Chris Jansing on MSNBC today about Rep. Elise Stefanik’s recent comments about January 6th insurrectionists, her potential censure and the ongoing importance of holding insurrectionists accountable for attacking our democracy. Below is a transcript of the interview:
Chris Jansing: The fourth most powerful Republican in the House, Elise Stefanik, is now facing a censure resolution. New York Democratic Congressman Dan Goldman introduced it. He argued she supported, charged, and convicted January 6 insurrectionists to attack the Capitol. The resolution points to these comments that she made on Meet the Press just this past Sunday.
B-roll of Rep. Stefanik on MSNBC’s Meet the Press
Kristen Welker: Do you think that the people who stormed the Capitol should be held responsible to the full extent of the law?
Stefanik: I have concerns about the treatment of January 6 hostages. I have concerns, we have a role in Congress of oversight over our treatment of prisoners.
End of B-roll
Jansing: Joining us now, Michael Fanone, retired DC police officer who of course was among those attacked on January 6th. I just want to start by asking you, what goes through your head when you hear January 6th defendants referred to as hostages?
Michael Fanone: I mean it’s outrageous, but it’s not unexpected. Elise Stefanik is an insurrectionist. On January 6th, she voted to overturn the results of a free and fair election, based solely on the statements of Donald Trump and a few of his crazy supporters. She used the authority of her position as an elected member of Congress to legitimize baseless accusations and with no evidence to support those claims. And her rhetoric, along with others’, inspired thousands of Americans, her own party’s supporters, to attack the Capitol and police officers who were there to protect her.
Jansing: You released a statement in fact saying many of the things that you’ve just said now in support of the censure resolution. Do you think that this specific action, a censure, really helps to hold her accountable? I think there was a time when a censure really was something rare. It was widely seen as an important kind of moral rebuke. Now, just in the 118th Congress, the House has already voted to censure three different members. I wonder if you think this risked looking more like a tit-for-tat political move than an honorable stance?
Fanone: Well, I mean, I agree with you, in part. The idea of a censure would resonate with somebody who had honor or integrity. Elise Stefanik, has none of the fundamental qualities of true leadership. She has no honor, no integrity, no courage. She’s willing to sell out her country and her fellow countrymen in a personal quest for power. That being said, I’ve said many times now, I think this, you know, the war that we are waging against MAGA in this insurrectionist movement, is an all hands on deck affair. And so everyone should be doing everything within their power. If you’re a member of Congress, I guess that’s censoring your fellow representatives, because there are still decent people in this country who find that rhetoric outrageous. And so, you know, I applaud the Congressman’s efforts to hold her accountable in the means that he has at his disposal.
Jansing: NBC News has learned that, and this is exclusive reporting from my colleagues, that former President Trump is eyeing Stefanik as his potential Vice President. He has called her, to folks he’s talked to about his process, a “killer.” Stefanik had said in her Meet the Press interview, in fact, she would be honored to serve in any capacity in the Trump administration. If there were to be a Trump Stefanik administration, what do you think that means for the reality for January 6th, for the people who are in prison, the insurrectionists, and what does it mean, what would it mean overall?
Fanone: I try not to think about these things. But, I believe that first and foremost, I think day one, Donald Trump pardons all of his supporters that attacked the Capitol on January 6, 2021. To include those that attacked members of law enforcement like myself, I think that the January 6th narrative gets flipped on its head. It’ll go down as a, you know, patriotic moment in American history in which Trump and his supporters stormed the Capitol, and let it be known their grievance against our government.
Jansing: We only have a few seconds left but I’m thinking about E. Jean Carol who has been on the stand, very different circumstance right, but has her own things to say about Donald Trump, but also what has happened to her as a result of saying these things about Donald Trump. Do you ever have any regrets at all about becoming as public as you have in your criticism of Donald Trump and what happened on January 6th?
Fanone: None whatsoever. I mean, I have concerns. Just the other day, in fact, yesterday, I was working out at the gym, and was confronted by a Trump supporter, who became enraged and threatened me. This is a very real reality for those of us who are out here, and maybe don’t have the means or the support apparatus to have full time security. Something I wouldn’t have anyways, but, you know, I’m concerned about my family. I’m worried that my daughters are going to come across a parent that knows who I am, and knows the things that I’ve said about Donald Trump and that they would suffer as a result of that.
Jansing: Michael Fanone, who has been very much out there and is supporting the censure of Elise Stefanik. Thank you so much for being on the program. We appreciate you taking the time.
To view the full interview, click HERE.
To read his full statement on the potential censure, click HERE.