VIDEO: Elijah Cummings’ Pallbearer Refuses to Shake Mitch McConnell’s Hand at Memorial Service

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

A pallbearer ignored Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) during the memorial service for Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) on Capitol Hill Thursday.

Video footage shows the moment when pallbearer Bobby Rankin shakes the hands of both Democrat and Republican lawmakers but snubs McConnell after he greets Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). He then moves to shake hands with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).

Rankin has so far made no comment about the incident, according to a report by the Hill.

However, McConnell said during the ceremony that Cummings, who had served his district since 1996, “did not just represent Baltimore, he embodied it.”

He continued:

He knew there was only one reason why a son of sharecroppers, a child who had literally had to bear the injuries of bigotry and segregation, could graduate from law school and eventually chair a powerful committee in Congress. Only one reason, because principled leaders had fought to give kids like him a chance. Chairman Cummings made it his life’s work to continue that effort. He climbed the ranks here in the Capitol, not because he outgrew his hometown but because he was so committed to it.

On Thursday, Breitbart News reported that Cummings was the first black American lawmaker to lie in state inside National Statuary Hall on Capitol Hill.

“Civil rights icon Rosa Parks, who died in 2005, and Capitol Police Officer Jacob Chestnut, who was killed by a gunman in 1998, were also given the honor bestowed upon only a small number of private citizens in years past,” the report noted.

Pelosi said during Cummings’ funeral in Baltimore on Friday that “Elijah brought people together in life of different parties and in his death of different parties,” and added that “it took bipartisan agreement for Elijah to lie in repose on the same catafalque that Abraham Lincoln lied in repose at the Capitol.”

Also speaking at the funeral, former 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said Cummings “had little tolerance for those who put party ahead of country or partisanship ahead of truth. But he could find common ground with anyone willing to seek it with him.”

“And he liked to remind all of us that you can’t get so caught up in who you are fighting that you forget what you are fighting for,” she concluded.


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