Donald Trump praised his supporters who stormed the US Capitol on January 6 as ‘peaceful’, ‘patriots’ and ‘great people’ while condemning the fatal police shooting of ‘innocent, wonderful’ Ashli Babbitt.
The former president fondly remembered the Capitol insurrection during an appearance on Fox News’ Sunday Morning Futures, where he said the MAGA fans who gathered that morning to hear him speak before marching on Congress were filled with ‘faith and spirit and love’.
However he acknowledged one of the five deaths linked to the riots – that of Babbitt, a former Air Force veteran who was shot dead by an unnamed Capitol Police officer as she tried to climb through a broken door leading to the House Speaker’s Lobby.
Trump hinted that ‘the head of security for…a Democrat’ may have been responsible for Babbitt’s shooting, though he offered no evidence to support the claim.
In April, the Justice Department announced that no charges would be brought against the officer.
Describing his ‘Stop the Steal’ rally that preceded the siege on Congress, Trump said a ‘tremendous number of people’ came out to hear his ‘mild-mannered speech.’
Former President Donald Trump praised his supporters who stormed the US Capitol on January 6 as ‘peaceful’ and ‘great people’ who were ‘patriots’
Supporters of the then-president breached the barricades of the US Capitol on January 6 in an attempt to stop Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s election victory
Trump went on to claim there were ‘over a million people there’ though the actual number was far less.
‘The crowd was unbelievable and I mentioned the word “love,” the love in the air, I’ve never seen anything like it,’ he said of the rally near the White House.
‘That’s why they went to Washington.’
‘Too much spirit and faith and love, there was such love at that rally, you had over a million people.’
He said his supporters ‘were there for one reason – the rigged election’.
‘They felt the election was rigged,’ Trump said. ‘That’s why they were there.’
‘And they were peaceful people. These were great people. The crowd was unbelievable.’
Trump also claimed during the interview that he had told his then-secretary of defense, Christopher Miller, to reinforce the capital with ‘10,000 National Guardsmen’ due to the high turnout.
According to Trump, Miller was ‘turned down’ by Congress, specifically House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
National Guard troops did not arrive at the Capitol until around 5.20pm on January 6, more than four hours after the grounds were first breached by the pro-Trump mob.
Trump also condemned the fatal shooting of ‘innocent, wonderful’ Ashli Babbitt. During an appearance on Fox News on Sunday, the president hinted that ‘the head of security for…a Democrat’ may have been responsible for Babbitt’s shooting, though he offered no evidence to support the claim
Babbitt, the former Air Force veteran, who shot dead by an unnamed Capitol Police officer as she tried to climb through a broken door leading to the House Speaker’s Lobby
Lawmakers have held a series of hearings on the federal government’s preparations for and response to the attack, leading to finger-pointing between city officials, federal law enforcement agencies, and military leaders.
Senate Republicans blocked legislation to set up a bipartisan commission that would have the power to force witnesses, possibly including Trump, to testify under oath about what happened that day.
Republican opponents said the Senate committees’ probe, as well as ongoing prosecutions, were enough investigation.
More than six months after the deadly attack, the remaining high-security fence surrounding the white-domed building has been removed, police said on Sunday.
Workers began removing the last of the eight-foot-high black mesh fencing on Friday, which at one point surrounded several blocks of Capitol Hill and interfered with pedestrian and vehicle traffic.
The decision to take down the remaining fencing was based on the current threat environment and recent enhancements to the Capitol Police’s response capabilities, according to a statement released by the agency.
‘We are prepared to quickly enhance our security posture should the need arise,’ said Acting US Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman in the statement.
More than 535 people have been charged in taking part in the January 6 violence, when Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol in an unsuccessful attempt to stop Congress from certifying Democratic President Joe Biden’s election win.
Five people died on the day of the violence and the day after, including a Capitol Police officer.
Two police officers who took part in the defense of the Capitol later took their own lives. More than a hundred police officers were injured.