Trump Claims To Have New Information About Ashli Babbitt’s Death As He All But Confirms 2024 Presidential Run
TOPLINE As he gave his biggest indication yet of plans to run for office again in 2024, former President Donald Trump during a Sunday morning interview with Fox News claimed—without evidence—he has heard information that deceased Jan. 6 rioter Ashli Babbitt, who was shot by a member of the U.S. Capitol Police while storming Congress, was instead killed by the “head of security” for a top Democrat.
- The topic was first raised by “Sunday Morning Futures” host Maria Bartiromo, a vocal supporter of the ex-president who asked if he had any information on what she described as “speculation” that Babbitt was killed by a member of a leading Democratic lawmaker’s security detail.
- Trump responded affirmatively, saying he has received information that it was the head of security “for a certain high official,” who he stressed is a Democrat, that shot Babbitt.
- He did not offer up any evidence of this otherwise unsupported claim, nor did he name the lawmaker whose security detail he claimed was involved in the shooting.
- “I will tell you they know who shot Ashli Babbitt,” Trump said, claiming the person’s identity is being protected, but the truth is “going to come out.”
- The ex-president again praised Babbitt, a California-based Air Force veteran and conspiracy theorist who he has previously said didn’t deserve to be shot, as an “innocent, wonderful, incredible woman.”
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During the same interview, Trump also all-but-confirmed he plans to run for president again in 2024. “I absolutely know my answer, and we’re going to do very well and people are going to be very happy,” Trump said, noting he can’t officially announce anything yet for campaign financing reasons. He also joked CNN and MSNBC “will come out and endorse me” to boost their ratings. “They’ll endorse Donald Trump pretty soon I think.”
Babbitt was shot in the shoulder while climbing through a broken door into the Speaker’s Lobby as a crowd of rioters tried to gain access to the House of Representatives chamber. The Department of Justice announced in April that it would not bring charges against the officer who fatally shot Babbitt, determining the shooting was necessary “in self-defense or in defense of the Members of Congress and others evacuating the House Chamber.” Nonetheless, Trump—along with other influential Republicans—have focused intensely on Babbitt’s death in the riot’s aftermath, trying to paint her as a martyr and her killing as part of a nefarious plot. Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) prompted backlash after claiming during a congressional hearing last month that Babbitt was “executed” and that the police officer who shot her was “lying in wait.” Meanwhile, the rioter’s family members have repeatedly appeared on the popular Fox News show hosted by Tucker Carlson, who describes Babbitt’s death as a “homicide.”
The U.S. Capitol Police said after the riot that it was one of the force’s officers that shot Babbitt and there is no evidence to the contrary. Unlike its neighbor, the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), Congress has not required the U.S. Capitol Police to follow the public reporting or transparency protocols that govern most large municipal police forces. While D.C. police are required by law to release the names of officers involved in deaths or serious uses of force within five days of the incident, the Capitol Police force is not—and has often chosen to withhold that information in previous cases.
Author: Jemima Mcevoy