Trump regrets not lowering flag to half-staff to honour Ashli Babbitt shot at Capitol riot, report says

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Ashli Babbit (Twitter)
Ashli Babbit (Twitter)

Donald Trump thinks he should have lowered the White House flag to half-staff after "innocent, wonderful, incredible woman" Ashli Babbitt was shot and killed during the US Capitol riot, according to a report.

Quoting "a person with direct knowledge and another source familiar with the matter", The Daily Beast claimed Mr Trump complained over the past two weeks that she deserved the honour because of her service in the Air Force.

The timing of the reported regrets coincides with Mr Trump’s public comments on Ms Babbitt in July. He told Fox’s Maria Bartiromo on Sunday,11 July that she was shot by the head of security of a top Democrat, claims disputed by a senior law enforcement official quoted by NBC News.

"Who shot Ashli Babbit, why are they keeping that secret? Who was the person that shot an innocent, wonderful, incredible woman, a military woman, right in the head, and there’s no repercussions," Mr Trump said.

"I will tell you they know who shot Ashli Babbitt. They’re protecting that person," he added. "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."

Four days earlier during his announcement of a lawsuit against Silicon Valley’s tech giants on 7 July, Mr Trump again said he knows "exactly" who shot Ms Babbitt and that there was “no reason” for it.

"There was no reason for that. And why isn’t that person being opened up and why isn’t that being studied? They’ve already written it off. They said that case is closed," he said.

The US Capitol Police officer who shot Ms Babbitt was cleared of any criminal wrongdoing in April when federal prosecutors said there was insufficient evidence to prove her civil rights were violated.

They said it was reasonable for the shooter to believe he was firing in self-defence or in the self-defence of members of Congress attempting to flee the chamber.

The US attorney’s office and the Justice Department closed the investigation without ever identifying the officer involved. Ms Babbitt’s brother, Roger Witthoeft, told The Washington Post he was unhappy with the decision.

“In my eyes, everyone should stand before a jury to face justice. That decision shouldn’t be made behind the scenes. I think he should at least stand trial,” he said.

Mr Trump did eventually lower the White House flag to honour Capitol officer Brian Sicknick, who died days after the 6 January riot from a stroke.

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