Donald Trump thinks he should have lowered the White House flag to half-staff after terrorist Ashli Babbitt was shot and killed during the attempted coup d’état at US Capitol on January 6, according to The Daily Beast.
Trump did order the flag at the White House and other federal buildings lowered, in honor of Capitol Police officers who died after the riot, but only after pressure from lawmakers and four days after the insurrection.
Quoting “a person with direct knowledge and another source familiar with the matter”, reporters Asawin Suebsaeng and Will Sommer claim Trump’s private comments mark the latest of his attempts to rewrite history, as he complained that she deserved the honor.
Babbitt was a QAnon believer who was fatally shot while leading rioters at the U.S. Capitol who were attempting to break into a refuge for lawmakers fleeing what appeared to be a bloodthirsty mob.
The story says trump described Babbitt as “a martyr unjustly slain by a rogue police officer—rather than the rioter captured on video trying to breach a secure area of the Capitol at the head of a mob.”
Babbitt, 35, was shot and killed by an officer on Capitol Hill as she attempted to break into the Speaker’s Lobby along with .
One day before the riot, Babbitt tweeted that Jan. 6 would mark “the Storm”—the long-awaited day QAnon supporters imagined Trump would arrest or execute his political enemies and impose a fascist dictatorship.
“Nothing will stop us,” Babbitt tweeted. “They can try and try and try but the storm is here and it is descending upon DC in less than 24 hours.”
In the months since the riot, Babbitt has become a cause célèbre in various conservative circles, with Trump and other prominent Republicans demanding to know the identity of the officer who shot her.
The former president described the slain terrorist as an “innocent, wonderful, incredible woman” and asserted that the U.S. Capitol Police officer who killed Babbitt was the “head of security” for a “high-ranking” Democratic member of Congress. Trump lied by making that claim, according to senior law enforcement officials.
Video of the shooting showed Babbitt in front of a crowd of rioters trying to get through a door leading to where members of Congress were being evacuated on the House side of the building. The Justice Department found that Babbitt had “attempted to climb through one of the doors where glass was broken out.”
The Justice Department released a statement in April clearing the officer of any criminal wrongdoing.
The statement said in part that “the investigation revealed no evidence to establish that, at the time the officer fired a single shot at Ms. Babbitt, the officer did not reasonably believe that it was necessary to do so in self-defense or in defense of the Members of Congress and others evacuating the House Chamber.”
In the more than 180 days since Jan. 6, more than 535 individuals have been arrested on charges related to the Capitol breach, including over 165 individuals charged with assaulting, resisting, or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing.
Despite his calls to expose the officer who shot Babbitt, potentially subjecting him to retaliation from deluded right-wing fanatics, there have been no remarks from the major police unions that endorsed Trump for re-election and bolstered his false claims of ‘law and order.’