Skip To Content
BuzzFeed News Home Reporting To You

The Father Of A Parkland Shooting Victim Tried To Shake Hands With Brett Kavanaugh

"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."

Posted on September 4, 2018, at 3:59 p.m. ET

Andrew Harnik / AP

The father of a Parkland shooting victim tried and failed to introduce himself to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on Tuesday, in a moment that was captured on video and immediately became a point of speculation about whether he was intentionally snubbed.

Fred Guttenberg has become an activist against gun violence since his 14-year-old daughter Jaime died in the Parkland massacre on Feb. 14.

Kavanaugh had just been told there would be a 30-minute lunch break in the chaotic confirmation hearing when Guttenberg approached him as he stood from his seat.

Guttenberg quickly tweeted about the interaction with the judge and framed it as a snub, setting up a back-and-forth with the White House and a firestorm on social media.

"Put out my hand to introduce myself as Jaime Guttenberg's dad," he wrote. "He pulled his hand back, turned his back to me and walked away."

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. I guess he did not want to deal with the reality of gun violence.

It began when Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat from California, told Kavanaugh about some of the people in attendance at the hearing. She mentioned "Fred Guttenberg, the father of Jaime, one of 17 killed in the Parkland shooting," as Kavanaugh looked at the senator.

video-player.buzzfeed.com

Later, the break was announced, and Guttenberg approached Kavanaugh.

Kavanaugh briefly looked up at Guttenberg, whose hand was outstretched, before turning around and continuing to exit.

A security guard next to Kavanaugh followed him out, while Guttenberg continued to yell after him.

Here's a view from Guttenberg's side:

video-player.buzzfeed.com

Here's a view from the other side:

Fred Guttenberg, father of Parkland victim, Jaime, tries to shakes hands with Brett Kavanaugh: "My daughter was murdered at Parkland." White House says an "unidentified individual approached" Kavanaugh, but "before the judge was able to shake his hand, security had intervened." https://t.co/IerpDMOW0h

Here's the video head-on:

Video of Kavanaugh-Guttenberg moment, you can see Kavanaugh turn around in surprise at someone calling for him and then not shake hands before security took him away. Awkward all around. https://t.co/OFQGgWrZ8a

It's unclear if Kavanaugh knew who Guttenberg was or could hear him.

Guttenberg can be heard saying "she was murdered in Parkland" after Kavanaugh had turned and left.

White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah disputed Guttenberg's description of events.

He quote-tweeted him, saying that Kavanaugh was approached by "an unidentified individual" and added that "before the Judge was able to shake his hand, security had intervened."

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. https://t.co/ylOhtA1s6G

Guttenberg replied to Shah and noted that he'd been introduced by Feinstein earlier.

"No security involved. He turned and walked away," wrote Guttenberg.

@RajShah45 Incorrect. I was here all day and introduced by Senator Feinstein. No security involved. He turned and walked away.

Shah then tweeted another video of the incident, saying it "clearly shows security intervened when Judge Kavanaugh was approached."

NEW VIDEO of hearing room clearly shows security intervened when Judge #Kavanaugh was approached.

But the video doesn't completely back up Shah's claim — a security guard can be seen sliding past Guttenberg and accompanying Kavanaugh out, but the video doesn't show a guard stopping Guttenberg.

ADVERTISEMENT