Trump's 'chilling' embrace of Ashli Babbitt shows he's coming around to openly backing the riot: columnist
Former President Donald Trump once again on Wednesday demanded to know the name of the Capitol Police officer who fatally shot MAGA rioter Ashli Babbitt as she tried to break into congressional chambers.
New York Magazine columnist Jonathan Chait describes Trump's willingness to embrace Babbitt as a martyr as a "chilling" development that he believes shows the former president is coming around to supporting the deadly riot waged by his followers to stop the certification of the 2020 election.
"Martyrs are the most potent symbols for a radical movement," Chait notes. "The John Birch Society commemorated an American missionary killed by Chinese communists in 1945 (the first death of the Cold War, the society's followers believed). Horst Wessel, a German storm trooper killed by communists in 1930, inspired an eponymous song that became a Nazi anthem."
Although Trump at least tried to distance himself from the riot shortly after it occurred, Chait argues that he's been emboldened to embrace it because the Republican Party failed to expunge him from its ranks.
"By throwing himself behind this message, Trump is endorsing the most radical interpretation of his presidency," he concludes. "January 6 was not a minor misstep after a successful era, as fans like Mike Pence and Lindsey Graham now say. It was the heroic culmination of a righteous uprising."
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