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Brett Kavanaugh avoids shaking hands with father of Parkland shooting victim

Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing underway

In his confirmation hearings this week, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has to navigate difficult questions from Democrats, endure a parade of protesters fighting his confirmation and do his best to avoid "gotcha" moments. But before he could answer any questions — or even read his opening statement — Kavanaugh found himself at the center of a different controversy.

When the Senate Judiciary Committee adjourned for lunch, Kavanaugh was approached by Fred Guttenberg, the father of one of the teenagers killed in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in February. Guttenberg has become a vocal advocate for gun control since the death of his daughter, Jamie.

Guttenberg tapped Kavanaugh's arm and reached out to shake Kavanaugh's hand, but the nominee did not reciprocate. He turned and walked away after a beat, escorted away by security staff.

Guttenberg tweeted about the experience Tuesday afternoon. "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," Guttenberg wrote.

White House spokesperson Raj Shah responded to Guttenberg's tweet, claiming that he was blowing the incident out of proportion.

"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," Shah wrote on Twitter.

Guttenberg replied on Twitter that this account wasn't accurate. "Incorrect. I was here all day and introduced by Senator Feinstein. No security involved. He turned and walked away," Guttenberg wrote, referring to the fact that Feinstein had invited him to be her guest at the hearing.

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