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GOP congressman admits to doing pull-ups at top of Capitol Dome and insists ‘there was nothing unsafe’ about it

<i>Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call

By Sam Fossum, Manu Raju and Haley Talbot, CNN

Republican Rep. Richard McCormick of Georgia admitted Wednesday to doing pull-ups while with his staff at the top of the US Capitol Dome, insisting his actions were safe and that the story has been “overblown.”

“I’m saying I did pull-ups on some metal structure,” McCormick told CNN, adding he did not go beyond any restricted signage. “There’s some metal structures up there. It wasn’t anything dangerous. It’s been overblown.”

Politico reported earlier Wednesday that McCormick was reported to the Sergeant of Arms for “unsafe actions” by the Capitol Visitors Center while he was on a tour of the dome earlier this week.

McCormick, who is also an emergency room doctor, insisted to CNN that he didn’t breach any safety protocols and confirmed that staff who were with him took video of him doing the pull-ups.

“There was nothing unsafe,” he said. “They videoed me doing pull-ups, but it’s not, it’s not unsafe. Like I said, it’s – it wasn’t dangling over, you know, whatever. But, you know, like, like I said it’s – I’m a Marine. I know safety. I’m an ER doc. I know safety. It was, it was nothing that you know that the article is, is brilliant in the way they like to frame it, but that’s it.”

When asked if he was in any danger of falling, McCormick brushed off the concerns.

“You can always fall. I can fall right now,” he said. “You can fall off the dome right now, the people who are walking around right now. There was nothing. Nothing unsafe for me at all.”

McCormick’s comments come after he earlier apologized to the Capitol Visitor Center. Julie Singleton, McCormick’s communications director, told CNN: “There was a misunderstanding and we have apologized.”

CNN has regularly spotted McCormick skateboarding in the halls of Congress.

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