Kinzinger Rushes To Defend Capitol Officer After Trump Threats

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On Wednesday, Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) spoke out against a rambling statement from former President Donald Trump targeting the officer who fired the fatal shot at Trump supporter Ashli Babbitt during the Capitol riot in January. While Babbitt’s death is unmistakably tragic, she was trying to break into an area that could have brought her significantly closer to direct access to members of Congress when she was shot. Specifically, she was attempting to climb through a broken window, and what might have happened if rioters had actually reached members of Congress? Many of those present were clearly intent on inflicting potentially deadly violence. A chant of “Hang Mike Pence!” broke out at one point over his perceived disloyalty to Trump.

Kinzinger — who is one of just two Republicans currently serving on the House committee investigating the Capitol riot — commented as follows regarding Trump’s statement on these matters:

‘Quite a thoroughly disgusting statement.’

In his statement, Trump spoke threateningly of the officer who fired the fatal shot at Babbitt, writing: “We know who he is,” although it’s of course unclear whether that’s true. Trump also said that if the shooting “happened to the “other side,”” then there “would be riots all over America.” But, Trump said, “there are far more people represented by Ashli, who truly loved America, than there are on the other side.” He is openly elevating someone who was committing apparent criminal acts at the time they were shot, and he’s concurrently virulently denigrating those on what he calls the “other side.” Trump also said that the “Radical Left haters cannot be allowed to get away with this.” Blaming Trump’s political opponents in general for the death of Ashli Babbitt is atrociously ridiculous.

Trump’s statement, of course, continues his long history of disconnection from reality. His disconnection from the facts of what’s going on around him helped initially drive the Capitol riot, which was inspired by his lie that last year’s election was somehow rigged for Joe Biden.