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Former President Trump during a July rally in Phoenix, Arizona. Photo:y Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Former President Trump issued a statement Wednesday criticizing law enforcement who responded to the Capitol insurrection and praising Ashli Babbitt, who was fatally shot while participating in the riot.

Why it matters: Babbitt was one of five people to die as a result of the Jan. 6 Capitol attack that caused some $500 million in damage to the building and resulted in the arrests of hundreds of people.

  • The Justice Department found insufficient evidence to support criminal prosecution against the officer who shot Babbitt in a shoulder as she tried to enter the Speaker's Lobby through a door's broken window.

What he's saying: "I spoke to the wonderful mother and husband of Ashli Babbitt, who was murdered at the hands of someone who should have never pulled the trigger of his gun," Trump said in an emailed statement to news outlets calling for "justice."

  • "If this happened to the 'other side,' there would be riots all over America, and yet there are far more people represented by Ashli, who truly loved America, than there are on the other side."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-Calif.) spokesperson issued a statement Thursday condemning the former president's remarks.

  • "Enough is enough.  These attacks are disgusting, wrong and a wholly unacceptable way to treat the men and women who went through hell to protect our democracy from armed insurrectionists," Pelosi's spokesperson Robyn Patterson said in a statement.  
  • "It’s long overdue for Minority Leader McCarthy to get off of his hands and stand up to the members of his conference and party who have been terrorizing the brave officers that saved the lives of countless workers, staff, journalists and Members on January 6th.  It is no less than these heroes deserve."

The big picture: The family of Babbitt, an Air Force veteran, is suing Washington, D.C. for records revealing the identity of the officer who shot her.

  • Babbitt has been lionized by members of the far-right and Trump surrogates — notably Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), who was condemned by Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and others for defending Babbitt and the other rioters over the insurrection.

Flashback: Trump received widespread condemnation in 2017 for saying there were "very fine people, on both sides" following a white supremacists rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, which resulted in the death of Heather Heyer, 32, after a self-professed neo-Nazi ran into a group of counter-protesters.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with a statement from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office.

Go deeper

George W. Bush to headline fundraiser for Liz Cheney

Liz Cheney and former President George W. Bush. Photo: Andrew Harnik/Pool via Xinhua and Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Former President George W. Bush will appear as a guest of honor at a fundraiser for Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) next month, Politico first reported.

Why it matters: Bush's presence at the event offers Cheney support from a prominent Republican just weeks after former President Trump endorsed Harriet Hageman, Cheney's challenger in the Wyoming House primary contest.

House passes $768 billion defense spending bill

Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The House approved a $768 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the 2022 fiscal year in a bipartisan 316-113 vote on Thursday.

Why it matters: The annual bill, which authorizes Pentagon spending levels and guides policy for the department, would require women to register for the military draft, among other provisions.

8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Republicans’ secret lobbying

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The five Senate Republicans who helped negotiate and draft the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill have been privately courting their Republican colleagues to pass the measure in the House.

Why it matters: House GOP leaders are actively urging their members to oppose the bill. The senators are working to undercut that effort as Monday shapes up as a do-or-die moment for the bipartisan bill.