Activism Uncensored: Donald Trump Addresses Ashli Babbitt Ceremony
No longer calling January 6th a "heinous attack," Trump commemorates "a truly incredible person," saying, "I offer my unwavering support to Ashli’s family."
Last Sunday, friends and family of Ashli Babbitt, the Air Force veteran shot at the Capitol on January 6th, gathered in Freeport, Texas to celebrate what would have been her 36th birthday. A surprise guest spoke by recorded video: Donald Trump.
TK partner Ford Fischer of News2Share has the wider story on video above, including the heated speech of Babbitt’s mother Micki Witthoeft, a video greeting from Arizona congressman and staunch Trump supporter Paul Gosar, as well as a note from her husband Aaron, who addressed “that person who shot my wife” — later identified as Capitol Police officer Michael Byrd — saying, “he took my soul.”
Trump’s decision to address this crowd was fairly heavily scrutinized in the mainstream press. Outrage that Trump chose to lionize Babbitt was universal, but the reasons differed from outlet to outlet, as did the intensity of the disgust.
John Berman of CNN’s AC 360 represented the most common response, expressing disgust that Trump would “try to make a hero out of a member of a violent insurrectionist mob,” while he termed January 6th “the worst act of political violence since the Civil War.” MSNBC’s Steve Benen wrote a companion piece to a Rachel Maddow segment that focused on Trump’s changing language with regard to January 6th, noting that he’d previously described the riot as a “heinous attack” by people who’d “defiled the seat of democracy,” but was now using terms like “innocent” to describe people like Babbitt. New York berated Trump for winding up Witthoeft.
Fischer, whose pictures were used for many of these segments, shows the event in longer form above. He also interviews some of the principals, including Witthoeft and Texas Independent gubernatorial candidate Eric Braden, who takes a shot at Trump for not standing by the family earlier.