The father of Parkland shooting victim Jamie Guttenberg says Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh “turned his back” when he approached to shake hands during a break in his confirmation hearing on Tuesday.
Fred Guttenberg, who attended the first day of Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings as a guest of Sen. Dianne Feinstein, approached the Supreme Court nominee as the room broke for lunch. Video footage from CSPAN shows Guttenberg reaching out his arm toward Kavanaugh, who looks at him for a moment before turning away as a security guard walks up and steps in between them.
Guttenberg later tweeted that he put out his hand to introduce himself as Jamie Guttenberg’s dad.
“He pulled his hand back, turned his back to me and walked away,” Guttenberg said on Twitter. “I guess he did not want to deal with the reality of gun violence.”
White House spokesperson Raj Shah said security intervened before Kavanaugh could shake hands with an “unidentified individual.”
Guttenberg disputed Shah’s statement on Twitter, saying: “Incorrect. I was here all day and introduced by Senator Feinstein. No security involved. He turned and walked away.”
Shah later posted a video that he said “clearly shows” security intervening.
Guttenberg said on CNN Tuesday evening that he approached Kavanaugh after hearing him talk about his children during his introduction ahead of the hearing.
“I went up to him as a dad,” Guttenberg said. “I don’t go home to my complete family anymore. My daughter was killed and I am really concerned about how he’s going to rule on certain things that matter a lot to me because I don’t wan tot see other families go through what we have gone through.”
Guttenberg again disputed Shah’s account of the encounter between him and Kavanaugh. He said that not only did Kavanaugh refuse to shake his hand, he called security to remove him from the hearing, identifying him by the bracelets he wears to remember his daughter.
Guttenberg did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The AP reports that Capitol Police talked with Guttenberg and he was back in the hearing room for the afternoon session of the confirmation hearing.