On Tuesday (December 6), video showed recipients of the Congressional gold medal shaking hands with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) before snubbing Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).
Ken Sicknick, the brother of fallen Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, told CBS News that he declined handshakes from the GOP leaders because “they came out right away and condemned what happened on January 6th, and whatever hold that [Donald] Trump has on them is backstepped, is danced. They won’t admit to wrongdoing, not necessarily them themselves, but of Trump, of the rioters. People like Louie Gohmert, who presented an American flag that was flown over the Capitol to a January 6th rioter and told them they were a patriot, it’s disgusting. It takes away everything my brother has done.”
Following the attack on the Capitol, McCarthy said Trump "bears responsibility" for what ensued, but he declined to support the impeachment of the former president. McConnell too condemned Trump's role in the Capitol riots but voted against convicting him on impeachment charges.
Gladys Sicknick, Brian Sicknick’s mother, told CNN she also declined to shake hands with McConnell and McCarthy.
At Tuesday's ceremony, the pair thanked the gold medal recipients for their efforts last year.
“Thank you for saving our country. Thank you for being not just our friends, but our heroes,” McConnell said.
"These brave men and women in uniform stood strong in the line of duty for our county, and we’re forever grateful for that,” McCarthy remarked.