Trump is making Ashli Babbitt into a martyr — but he's totally responsible for her death: Rick Wilson

Former President Donald Trump this week issued a thinly veiled threat against the Capitol Police officer who fatally shot QAnon believer Ashli Babbitt as she was trying to break into the congressional chamber during the January 6th riots at the United States Capitol building.

Addressing the QAnon activist Thursday, MSNBC host Medhi Hasan noted that Republicans are now wearing little plastic advocacy bracelets with her name on them.

For Republicans, she has become the Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown or George Floyd of Jan. 6. The difference is that in those cases, they didn't do anything wrong and were killed without question or warning.

As insurrectionists were breaking down the door into the lobby of the House chamber, those with Babbitt can be heard on video spotting the officer. "GUN! GUN! He's got a gun!" their voices can be heard shouting. The gun firing shouldn't have been a surprise.

Hasan's guest, former GOP strategist Rick Wilson, explained how Trump bore full responsibility for Babbitt's death.

"The actions that happened that day were not in a vacuum," said Wilson. "They were not out of nowhere. They were motivated, they were directed, they were pushed, they were told where to go and what to do by Donald Trump. They were allowed to live in this conspiracy bubble that Fox News which is their main source of information provided them, which told the big lie over and over again. They lived in this Facebook environment where Facebook never moderated the fact they were being told that lizard aliens control America and that if they don't do this, they're all going to be enslaved and become Marxists."

Wilson explained that it was a kind of "toxic" soup that led Babbitt and those like her to break through the glass with guns drawn on them and ignore law enforcement.

Ruth Ben-Ghait, author of Strongmen: Mussolini to the President, explained that Trump's promotion of her is just another opportunity for him to inspire another attack. She explained that one thing about Trump that is indicative of most "strong men" is that he's tenacious and desperate.

"I have a whole chapter about the desperate things they do because they need immunity from prosecution. You know, you can look at all the things he did," she explained. "He tried a military intervention. He tried the DOJ to help him. He even, at the end, he tried to manipulate election officials. Then he had to get his own ad hoc coup army together, and none of that worked. Now he has to destabilize the system as much as possible. So, creating martyrs is part of that."

She recalled his claim that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and get away with it. "I'll never stop thinking about that because that was the red flag. And it does remind me of early fascism. It's like early fascism when they made these expeditions to beat up the opposition, and it's really very concerning."

See the full conversation below:


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