A video clip from the last known livestream of the woman fatally shot during Wednesday’s deadly and unprecedented Capitol riot, Ashli Babbitt, was found Thursday. She is among the four others who died as a result of the hours-long attack.
Babbitt was a San Diego-area resident who served 14 years and two tours in the U.S. Air Force.
Babbitt was shot by a Capitol Police officer while she and a mob of rioters were standing in the door leading to the House Speaker’s Lobby of the Capitol. The chaotic moment was caught on video and soon after spread rapidly online.
In the video taken prior to her breaching the U.S. Capitol alongside hundreds of other rioters, Babbitt is marching with fellow supporters of President Donald Trump down Pennsylvania Avenue toward Capitol Hill, with the base of the Washington Monument visible in the background. This occurred after Trump held a midday rally in front of the White House to protest Congress later that day certifying the states’ Electoral College votes, thereby sealing President-elect Joe Biden‘s 2020 election victory.
The video clip starts with her already speaking, about marching to the Capitol “in a mob,” but the context of the incomplete remark is unclear.
Babbitt then claimed there were estimated to be “over three million” Trump supporters present.
“So, despite what the media tells you,” Babbitt continued, “boots on the ground definitely say something different. There is a sea of nothing but red, white, and blue; patriots and Trump.”
“And it was amazing, you could see the president talk,” she added, grinning gleefully.
“We are now walking down the inaugural path to the Capitol Building,” Babbitt said before the brief clip ended, then repeating her attendance claim. “Three million-plus people.”
The New York Times‘ report on Babbitt found that she had been waiting for Wednesday, seemingly eagerly. It was reported that “a discouraged friend” on Twitter last week asked Babbitt: “When do we start winning?”
“Jan 6, 2021,” Babbitt reportedly answered.
“Nothing will stop us,” she also reportedly posted to an unspecified social media site the day before the riot, according to the BBC. “They can try and try and try but the storm is here and it is descending upon DC in less than 24 hours.”
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.
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Cuomo says he’ll ‘fully cooperate’ with NY AG’s review of sexual harassment claims
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said Wednesday that he will “fully cooperate” with the state attorney general’s independent review into sexual harassment allegations made against the currently scandal-ridden governor, saying, “I fully support a woman’s right to come forward.”
Last Wednesday, Lindsey Boylan, who served in his administration for over three years, accused Cuomo of suggesting to her on a 2017 flight that they play strip poker, inappropriate touching, and kissing her on the lips without her consent.
Following Boylan’s accusations, 25-year-old Charlotte Bennett alleged the governor indicated interest in having an affair with her while she was serving in his administration as a health policy adviser. In a Saturday New York Times report, Bennett told the newspaper that Cuomo asked her if she had “ever been with an older man,” adding that “age doesn’t matter” in relationships.
At Wednesday’s press briefing, the Empire State governor addressed the accusations leveled against him over the past seven days by three women and New York Attorney General Letitia James’ (D) independent review into those claims, which she announced on Monday was formally proceeding.
“As you probably know, the attorney general is doing an independent review, and I will fully cooperate with that review,” Cuomo said at the beginning of his statement. “Now, the lawyers say I shouldn’t say anything when you have a pending review until that review is over. I understand that, I’m a lawyer, too. But, I want New Yorkers to hear from me directly on this.”
“First, I fully support a woman’s right to come forward,” the governor began. “And I think it should be encouraged in every way. I now understand that I acted in a way that made people feel uncomfortable. It was unintentional and I truly and deeply apologize for it. I feel awful about it, and frankly I am embarrassed by it, and that’s not easy to say. But that’s the truth.”
This echoes what Cuomo said in a Sunday statement about the allegations, in which he stated he “may have been insensitive” during his tenure but charged his accusers of misinterpreting his actions, saying, “I acknowledge some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation… I am truly sorry about that.”
During his Wednesday remarks, Cuomo iterated “I never touched anyone inappropriately,” repeated that sentence, then said “I never knew at the time that I was making anyone feel uncomfortable” and repeated that one too.
“And I certainly never, ever meant to offend anyone or hurt anyone or cause anyone any pain. That is the last thing I would ever want to do,” he continued. “I ask the people of this state to wait for the facts from the attorney general’s report before forming an opinion. Get the facts, please, before forming an opinion.”
“I also want you to know that I have learned from what has been an incredibly difficult situation for me as well as other people, and I’ve learned an important lesson,” the governor said at the end of his statement. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry for whatever pain I caused anyone, I never intended it, and I will be the better for this experience.”
Amid Boylan and Bennett’s allegations, another report of Cuomo sexually harassing a woman has cropped up. On Monday, a woman named Anna Ruch accused the governor of placing his hands on her cheeks—without her consent—at a 2019 wedding reception and asking if he could kiss her. A photograph of the two together at the event has also been circulating on social media.
Asked at Wednesday’s briefing about the pictures that have resurfaced of him being touchy with people, particularly that of him and Ruch, the governor claimed that it is his way of greeting people.
“I understand the opinion of—and feelings of—Ms. Ruch,” Cuomo said. “You can find hundreds of pictures of me making the same gesture with hundreds of people—women, children, men, etc. You can go find hundreds of pictures of me kissing people. […] It is my usual and customary way of greeting.”
Moreover, the governor said that his father, former Gov. Mario Cuomo, would do the same thing.
“By the way, it was my father’s way of greeting people,” Cuomo said, explaining, “You’re the governor of the state, you want people to feel comfortable, you want to reach out to them.”
He also mentioned that he kisses and hugs legislators and noted that at an event in Queens the other day he hugged pastors and state assembly members.
Furthermore, the governor said that his intent “doesn’t matter,” saying, “What it matters is if anybody was offended by it.”
“But if they were offended by it, then it was wrong,” he added, going on to say that if they were offended or hurt by it, he apologizes.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.
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