Trump phones mother of shot Capitol rioter Ashli Babbitt: ‘It’s a terrible thing that has happened’

Former president Donald Trump spoke to the mother of Ashli Babbitt on speakerphone on Tuesday as she rallied for Jan 6 defendants outside DC jail.

A video posted on Twitter by News2Share editor-in-chief Ford Fischer showed Mr Trump phoned in to speak with Micki Witthoeft on speakerphone.

“Its a terrible thing that has happened with a lot of people that have been treated very, very unfairly. We love Ashli and so horrible what happened to her… We are with you. We are working with a lot of different people on this. We can’t let this happen,” he can be heard saying in the video.

“You look at all of the riots that took place – for a long period of time, not just 2020,  the last long period of time, and almost nothing has happened to those people,” he continued.

Ms Witthoeft later said that it meant “a lot to me to know he’s supporting the J6’ers [Jan 6 insurrectionists]”.

“Don’t forget that unarmed American citizens were murdered that day. They were beaten by the Capitol police that day,” she added.

Babbitt’s husband had earlier claimed she was trying to stop the Capitol riot – echoing a new claim pushed by figures on the far-right.

In an interview with Newsmax in July, Aaron Babbitt said “every time something big January 6 pops up, I can count on two things: Complete BS from the left and then Ashli trends on Twitter”.

It was reported in January that Babbitt had rammed the vehicle of Celeste Norris three times with an SUV in a roadrage incident in 2016. A year earlier, Ms Norris had told Babbitt’s husband that she was cheating on him with her longtime live-in boyfriend in a months-long extramarital affair.

In 2021, the former president claimed he knew the identity of the officer who fatally shot Babbitt as she was trying to enter a restricted area of the Capitol.

She was killed by an officer during the insurrection led by Mr Trump’s supporters on 6 January last year.

“We know who he is,” he said.

“If that happened to the ‘other side,’ there would be riots all over America and yet, there are far more people represented by Ashli, who truly loved America, than there are on the other side. The Radical Left haters cannot be allowed to get away with this. There must be justice!”

Babbitt, an airforce veteran, had filled her social media profiles with QAnon and adjacent conspiracy theories, her support for Mr Trump, and raged against Democratic lawmakers in her state.

“Nothing will stop us,” she wrote on Twitter the day before her death. “They can try and try and try but the storm is here and it is descending upon DC in less than 24 hours …. dark to light!”

In April, the Department of Justice called her death a “tragic loss of life” but ruled that an officer had fired in self-defence and in the defence of lawmakers and staffers who were evacuating the House of Representatives chamber in the Capitol building.

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