He’s no longer in office but that doesn’t stop former President Donald Trump from inciting violence on people of color and Democrats. In an interview Sunday with Fox News’ Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo Trump attempted to shift responsibility of the Jan. 6 insurrection on Democrats, completely changing the narrative of the deadly Capitol riots. Instead of focusing on the horrific events of the attempted coup, Trump praised those who attended his rally moments before the attack on the Capitol and spewed more hateful lies.
“There was a big rally called, and actually when I say, who knew—but there was a rally called and a tremendous number of people, the largest one I’ve ever spoken at before was called by people, by patriots,” Trump said. “And they asked me if I’d speak, and I did. And it was a very mild-mannered speech.”
But that’s not all after he bragged about to his apparently more than 1 million supporters at his discredited “stop the steal” rally; He continued to suggest that he knew the truth behind some of the Jan. 6 deaths including that of Ashli Babbitt. Babbitt was a rioter who was shot and killed after attempting to enter a room where lawmakers were seeking safety from angry mob members. Trump claimed she was killed by someone that is being protected because he is a prominent Democratic official’s security chief.
During the interview not only did Trump suggest he knew who killed her, but made her out as a martyr. He described Babbitt as an “innocent, wonderful, incredible woman.”
Clearly, his take on Babbitt was severely whitewashed. He and Bartiromo both referred to the Capitol riot as a “peaceful protest,” despite the fact that at least 140 officers were injured and at least 5 people including Babbitt were killed. And yet it doesn’t end there; The two go on to speak of the apparent operative who killed Babbitt, a Black man, with Bartiromo even claiming that Fox News reached out to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on the issue.
“I want you to know that my team reached out to Senator Chuck Schumer’s office to check on what he may know about who shot Ashli Babbitt. We have not heard back from Chuck Schumer’s office,” Bartiromo said.
Does any of this make sense? Of course not and others pointed it out as well—especially given that Schumer is a senator, not part of the House.
But that didn’t seem to come into either Trump or Bartiromo’s mind. They continued on to discuss who this apparent highly protected member of Congress’s security detail was.
“I will tell you they know who shot Ashley Babbitt, they’re protecting that person,” Trump replied. “I’ve heard also that it was the head of security for a certain high official, a Democrat, and we’ll see because it’s going to come out. It’s going to come out.”
Not only did Trump claim a Democrat shot Babbitt, but clearly he was indicating it was a person of color. But the truth is his lies can easily be seen through. Babbitt’s death is fairly well documented with footage of the shooting shared widely on social media. Additionally, Babbitt was warned multiple times before climbing through the window toward officers and footage indicates that there was no way for officers to know she was unarmed when doing so—therefore the officer reacted in a way anyone in his position would.
“Specifically, 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,” the office said in a statement.
Of course, not everyone buys into Trump and Fox News’ lies. But Trump even making these comments in itself is dangerous to the country. These conspiracy theories do more harm than good and can even potentially inspire others looking to garner “fame” at whatever the cost may be.
Trump continues to divert the responsibility of his actions on others and blames Democrats for violence. Throughout the protests against racial injustice, Trump called Black Lives Matter protesters violent despite reports indicating that more than 90% of protests after George Floyd were peaceful. Meanwhile, during his own rallies, including the one moments before the Jan. 6 insurrection, he has called for supporters to “fight like hell” to overturn the 2020 election results and consistently encouraged other violence.
“And we fight. We fight like hell. And if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore,” Trump said at the rally.
Like all his other claims, Trump’s claims about the 2020 election are not based on fact. According to CNN, the U.S. Capitol Police officer who shot Babbitt was not part of a security detail for a specific member of Congress—surprise, surprise. This further proves that Trump is willing to go to no end to incite violence on both people of color and Democrats.
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