Ashli Babbitt’s husband has said that she was trying to stop the Capitol riot, echoing a new claim pushed by figures on the far-right.
Speaking to right-wing broadcaster Newsmax on Thursday, Aaron Babbitt said he wasn’t going to watch the January 6 House Select Committee hearing later that night.
“Every time something big January 6 pops up, I can count on two things: Complete BS from the left and then Ashli trends on Twatter,” he told host Greg Kelly just before the hearing began.
The 35-year-old Air Force Veteran was shot and killed by an officer as she and other rioters stormed the US Capitol. Ms Babbitt was trying to breach a barricaded door inside the Capitol building, demanding that officers protecting lawmakers get out of the way. The officers moved as they were backed up by colleagues in tactical gear, The Washington Post reported.
Around 35 seconds after the officers moved, Ms Babbitt was shot as she climbed towards a broken part of the now unguarded door, videos from the incident show.
The rioters seemed to be attempting to gain access to the Speaker’s Lobby, which leads to the House chamber, The Post reported.
Despite extensive reporting and video footage showing the opposite, figures on the far-right are now claiming that Ms Babbitt was trying to stop the riot.
Mr Babbitt told Newsmax that before she was shot, Ms Babbitt shouted “Stop! Don’t! Wait!”.
Newsmax has previously claimed that Ms Babbitt punched a man breaking the glass door.
“I see a punch,” Mr Babbitt said. “A lot of people see a punch. I’ve gotten a lot of blowback, saying there’s no way, but I know my wife’s a lefty. She’s a southpaw, and you can see his glasses pop off his face. So I see what everybody else sees.”
Newsmax writes on its site that “the urging against a protester breaking the glass window shows Ashli Babbitt wanted a peaceful protest, not destruction or criminality. Also, Aaron Babbitt told Kelly, she was taking video in the Capitol building before she was killed as an unarmed protester”.
“I saw her step around the room, I saw her walk around with the phone — to me that’s telling me she’s taking a video and she’s trying to play by the rules of being inside,” Mr Babbitt said referring to a video of Ms Babbitt’s last moments. “I mean, they let everybody in. They didn’t stop anybody from coming in, so that’s where I go with on that one.”
“She was [an] all-around American girl,” Mr Babbitt added. “She loved serving her country. She loved moving back to California. She loved sports. She was my best friend, you know, and every day that goes by, there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t miss her.”
Ahead of Thursday night’s January 6 committee hearing, Georgia Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene said, “did you know Ashli Babbitt was trying to stop people from breaking in?”
“This is a blatant lie,” journalist Aaron Rupar tweeted.
“Ashli Babbit was climbing through a broken door with a backpack even after an agent on the inside told her to stop. She was just feet from members of Congress,” Fred Wellman wrote.
Ms Greene “was in a secure room laughing it up because she knew they weren’t coming for her,” he added.
“Ashli Babbitt is dead because she stormed the Capitol on Duck’s orders, defied the Capitol Hill Pigs, refused to comply because she was a Duck MAGA cultist who thought she, like Duck, was above the law. That she is dead is her fault, and Duck’s fault,” Cheri Jacobs wrote.