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Parkland victim's father and Kavanaugh: The handshake that wasn't

NBC News logo NBC News 9/4/2018 Kalhan Rosenblatt

The father of a student killed in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting earlier this year attempted to shake the hand of Brett Kavanaugh during the judge's first day of Senate confirmation hearings to the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday.

"Just walked up to Judge Kavanaugh as morning session ended. Put out my hand to introduce myself as Jaime Guttenberg's dad. He pulled his hand back, turned his back to me and walked away," Fred Guttenberg tweeted. "I guess he did not want to deal with the reality of gun violence."

Guttenberg's daughter Jaime, 14, was killed during the Valentine's Day shooting in Parkland, Florida, that left another 16 dead and injured 17 more.

White House Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah responded to Guttenberg's tweet, writing, "As Judge Kavanaugh left for his lunch break, an unidentified individual approached him. Before the Judge was able to shake his hand, security had intervened."

Guttenberg wasn't satisfied with that response.

"Incorrect. I was here all day and introduced by Senator Feinstein. No security involved. He turned and walked away," Guttenberg tweeted.

Image: The father of a Parkland victim tries to shake hands with Brett Kavanaugh © Fred Guttenberg, the father of Jamie Guttenberg who was killed in the Stoneman Douglas High School s... Image: The father of a Parkland victim tries to shake hands with Brett Kavanaugh

Guttenberg has previously stated that he opposed confirmation of Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court due to the National Rifle Association's support for the judge. In a tweet in July, Guttenberg wrote that "Kavanaugh must not become a Supreme Court Justice," calling him a "risk to public safety."

A video of the moment shows Guttenberg approach Kavanaugh, and the father appears to speak to the judge. However, it is unclear what Guttenberg is saying.

Kavanaugh then turns and walks away, flanked by a security team.

Still images of the moment show Guttenberg with his hand extended as he and Kavanaugh appear to lock eyes.

Guttenberg, who has become a fervent gun reform advocate since his daughter's death, did not immediately respond to a request for comment made by NBC News.


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