Former president Trump doubled down on Wednesday on his remarks about Ashli Babbitt, suggesting that there was no reason for her death and that the officer involved should be punished.
Babbitt died after a Capitol police officer shot her during the insurrection on Jan. 6 to prevent a mob from reaching members of Congress.
“The person that shot Ashli Babbitt — boom, right through the head,” Trump told a crowd of people in New Jersey on Wednesday. “Just boom — there was no reason for that.”
Babbitt was shot in the left shoulder as she climbed through a window to get into the Speaker’s Gallery, where members of Congress were evacuating.
Trump is tapping into a cause célèbre of the far-right. In the days immediately after Jan. 6, white supremacist Telegram channels lit up with fury at her death, proclaiming her a martyr for the cause. Leaked internal chats from a Three Percenter message forum show one purported member listing Babbitt with others including Vicki Weaver, Lavoy Finicum, and Timothy McVeigh under the header “Blood of Patriots.”
“There were no guns in the Capitol, except for the gun that shot Ashli Babbitt,” Trump said Wednesday.
He added that if things were “the opposite way, that man would be all over, and he would be the most well-known person in this country, in the world.”
Trump joined Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) on Saturday in calling for the identity of the officer who shot and killed Babbitt to be made public. Gosar, who openly associates with members of the far-right, has long framed his inquiries as: “Who executed Ashli Babbitt?”
Trump said on Wednesday that he can specify that the shooter was “a man” because “I know exactly who it is.”
“Why isn’t that person being opened up?” he added. “And why isn’t that being studied? They’ve already written it off.”
Trump said on Saturday that the officer who killed Babbitt, had it been “the other side,” would be “strung up and hung.”