Pallbearer Didn’t Shake McConnell’s Hand Because He Ignored His Veteran Brother
Video: Pallbearer for Elijah Cummings avoids shaking McConnell's hand
Video: Pallbearer for Elijah Cummings avoids shaking McConnell's hand During the funeral service for Maryland Representative Elijah Cummings a pallbearer avo...
The man in a viral video from the late Rep. Elijah Cummings’ funeral who skipped shaking Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s hand has said it was not due to politics that he declined the greeting.
According to The Hill, Bobby Rankin, who was a longtime friend of Cummings’ and one of the lawmaker’s pallbearers, was thinking about his veteran brother when saw the Kentucky Republican.
“When I saw Mitch McConnell, all I saw was my brother’s face,” Rankin told The Washington Post. His brother “died last October from cancer after being exposed to contaminated water while serving in the Marines,” The Hill reported, and Rankin holds McConnell at least somewhat responsible for the death.
“I could not put my hands in the man’s hand who refused to help somebody who served his country,” Rankin said. “I couldn’t do it, because I was thinking about my brother.”
He told The Post that Cummings contacted McConnell on behalf of his brother in an effort to help secure his military benefits. Rankin said he was unsure why the benefits were not received, nor did he know what McConnell’s role might have been in the battle to get them.
At Cummings’ funeral, Rankin can be seen walking down a line of lawmakers, shaking hands with everyone until he reaches McConnell.