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Kavanaugh Turns Away From Parkland Dad's Handshake

Fred Guttenberg says he just wanted to talk to Supreme Court nominee, father to father
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 5, 2018 9:20 AM CDT

(Newser) – "Chaos" is the word being used to describe the first day of Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court confirmation hearing, and now new labels are being applied to Kavanaugh himself, including ill-mannered and "coward." Fred Guttenberg, whose 14-year-old daughter, Jaime, was killed in the Parkland shooting, said he approached Kavanaugh during a break in Tuesday's hearing to introduce himself. "I put out my hand and I said: 'My name is Fred Guttenberg, father of Jaime Guttenberg, who was murdered in Parkland,' and he walked away,'" Guttenberg tells the Guardian, adding on Twitter: "I guess he did not want to deal with the reality of gun violence." Videos from various angles are circulating, showing Kavanaugh stare at Guttenberg, with his extended hand, for two seconds before walking away. It's not clear if Kavanaugh heard Guttenberg's introduction.

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White House spokesman Raj Shah says "security … intervened" when an "unidentified individual" approached Kavanaugh, an explainer Guttenberg is refuting. "Incorrect. I was here all day and introduced by Senator [Dianne] Feinstein," who invited Guttenberg to the hearing, Guttenberg tweeted. The Parkland father said he'd simply wanted to speak to Kavanaugh, father to father, to let him "know that my family was torn apart by gun violence," and he dismissed theories that, although he doesn't support Kavanaugh's nomination, this was intended to make Kavanaugh look bad. Per the Hill and the Washington Post, Guttenberg says he was questioned by Capitol Police for about 15 minutes, then allowed to return to the hearing—and he thinks Kavanaugh is the one who pinpointed him to security. "He could have absolutely shook my hand and said: 'I'm sorry for your loss.' I mean—if nothing else," he tells the Guardian. (Read more Brett Kavanaugh stories.)

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