A top GOP committee sent a message accusing supporters who hadn’t donated of being traitors: ‘You abandoned Trump.’

Donald Trump
Former President Donald Trump.

  • The National Republican Congressional Committee sent an antagonistic message to donors this month.
  • The group accused those who had not yet contributed of being a “traitor” and abandoning Trump.
  • Some Trump advisers told The Washington Post they were livid with the framing of the message.

A top GOP committee dedicated to electing Republicans to the House of Representatives is taking an adversarial approach to some of its recent fundraising attempts.

The National Republican Congressional Committee sent a fundraising message this month threatening supporters who had not yet donated, calling them a “traitor,” The Washington Post reported.

“You abandoned Trump,” a text version of the message said. “We were told you were a tried & true, lifelong patriot.”

“But when Trump said he’d run for President if we took back the House from Nancy Pelosi…You did nothing. Was Trump wrong about you?” the statement asked.

The message continued, offering recipients a “final chance” to prove their loyalty, else they’d be “branded a deserter.” The statement said donors had “only 17 minutes” to respond.

According to The Post, some Trump advisers were furious with the framing of the email, calling it off-putting and worrying that it could alienate supporters as Trump continues to hint at a 2024 presidential run.

“The tone was totally inappropriate,” one anonymous advisor told the outlet about the committee’s message.

A spokesperson for the Trump Organization did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

The former president, though ousted from office, still holds sway over the Republican party, and GOP strategists eager to regain control of Washington are using Trump’s sphere of power and name recognition to target his dedicated base in hopes of prompting Republican voter turnout large enough to return Congress to the GOP in 2022.

The messaging comes even as Trump publicly issues a threat to GOP lawmakers, telling them to back his ongoing lies about unfounded election fraud or else Republicans will refuse to vote in 2022 and 2024. On Thursday, Trump published a statement to his political action committee website, Save America, conveying the threat.

“If we don’t solve the Presidential Election Fraud of 2020 (which we have thoroughly and conclusively documented), Republicans will not be voting in ’22 or ’24. It is the single most important thing for Republicans to do,” the statement said.

Official audits and election experts have concluded there was no widespread fraud in the 2020 election, and the Department of Homeland Security declared the election the “most secure in American history.”

One elections expert told Insider that the former president’s ultimatum is “mostly a power play,” and Trump, in addition to several other senior Republican leaders, has expressed confidence that the party will be able to retake Congress come 2022.

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Trump brought up an unsubstantiated claim in the Steele dossier to the National Republican Senatorial Committee: ‘I’m not into golden showers’

Donald Trump
Former President Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Dallas, Texas, on July 11, 2021.

  • A former British spy included the unverified claim in a collection of memos now known as the Steele dossier.
  • Trump has repeatedly denied claims of the existence of the tape, and the dossier’s claim is unsubstantiated.
  • “I’m not into golden showers,” said the former president on Thursday.

Former President Trump denied claims that he’d ever had any interaction with Russian sex workers during Thursday remarks to a group of Republicans in Palm Beach, Florida, according to Josh Dawsey and Michael Scherer of The Washington Post.

“I’m not into golden showers,” he said, according to The Post. “You know the great thing, our great first lady – ‘That one,’ she said, ‘I don’t believe that one.'”

The “golden showers” comment refers to unverified claims made in what is now known as the Steele dossier – a collection of memos put together by former British spy Christopher Steele during the 2016 presidential election looking into Trump’s ties to Russia.

While some of the dossier’s claims have been substantiated, as Insider’s Sonam Sheth breaks down in a very helpful piece, salacious claims of a pee-tape have not been verified.

“The dossier said Trump rented the presidential suite at the Ritz-Carlton in Moscow during a trip to Russia in 2013. While staying at the hotel, the document says, Trump hired Russian prostitutes to perform sexual acts in front of him which involved urination,” Sheth previously explained. “The hotel is said to be monitored by Russian intelligence, and the dossier alleged that Russian authorities obtained footage of the events which they then used as leverage over Trump.”

There is no evidence that this tape exists. Trump has denied the claims and called the dossier “a pile of garbage.”

The dossier was referenced by both the FBI and the Senate Intelligence Committee when they were investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia. (Special counsel Robert Muller found that Russia did interfere in the 2016 election but did not have sufficient evidence that the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia. Mueller’s findings did not exonerate Trump on obstruction of justice, but left that question to Congress citing a DOJ policy.)

On Thursday, according to The Post, the former president brought up the claim during the National Republican Senatorial Committee donor retreat – without having been asked about the topic. The group included senators and GOP strategists.

The Office of Donald Trump and the NRSC did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

In addition to bringing up the “golden showers,” Trump repeatedly made baseless claims about 2020 election fraud.

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A Republican group is putting up gigantic billboards to remind Trump that he lost

trump lost billboard times square
A group of Republican officials is launching an anti-Trump campaign to call for an end to vote audits.

  • A Republican group is putting up billboards to remind former President Trump that he lost the 2020 election.
  • The first billboard is up in Times Square, and reads “Trump lost. No more ‘audits.'”
  • The group plans to run these billboards in states where Trump is calling for vote audits.

A group of Republicans is putting up billboards across America to remind former President Donald Trump that he lost last year’s election, starting with a gigantic display in Times Square.

The Republicans for Voting Rights group tweeted a photo of the New York City billboard on October 14, which read: “TRUMP LOST. NO MORE ‘AUDITS.'”

There are currently 36 “Trump Lost” billboards across nine states according to a map posted on the Republicans for Voting Rights website,

“Republicans for Voting Rights is launching a quarter-million-dollar billboard campaign across the country to call on state lawmakers to reject frivolous audits of the 2020 election results,” read a statement by the group. According to its website, RVR is a group of eight Republicans, including Olivia Troye, a former aide to Mike Pence, and Michael Steele, the former chairman of the Republican National Committee.

“The billboard will run in ​​major markets in states where there’s discussion about an audit of the 2020 election, including Georgia, Florida, Texas, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Arizona, as well as New York City’s Times Square,” added the group in its statement.

There have been calls for vote audits even in Florida and Texas, states that Trump won. Most recently, the GOP-led audit of the vote count in Maricopa County confirmed President Joe Biden won the election and resulted in Trump losing 261 votes. However, Trump has continued to falsely claim the GOP audit uncovered “undeniable evidence” of fraud.

This billboard campaign appears to be the latest salvo fired by anti-Trump Republicans in a bid to loosen the former president’s hold on power over the GOP. Just this week, GOP officials penned an op-ed in The New York Times urging Republican voters to back Democrats in the 2022 midterm elections to save the Republican party from ‘pro-Trump extremists.’

The Times op-ed was written by Miles Taylor, a Trump-era Department of Homeland Security chief of staff, and Christine Todd Whitman, a former Republican governor of New Jersey. In 2020, Taylor revealed himself to be the anonymous author behind a 2018 op-ed article in The Times describing a “resistance” of Trump administration officials working to quell what he called the former president’s “worst inclinations.”

Taylor continues to pursue the cause to weaken Trump’s influence on the GOP. This week, the Renew America Movement (RAM), a group that Taylor co-founded, endorsed 21 Democrats and prominent Republicans running in risky midterm races. The candidates included Democrat Sen. Mark Kelly of Arizona, Maine Rep. Jared Golden, and known anti-Trump GOP Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger.

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Trump threatened that Republicans wouldn’t vote in 2022 or 2024. One expert says ‘this is mostly a power play.’

Trump
Former President Donald Trump.

  • Trump threatened that his voters will stay home in 2022 and 2024 if the GOP doesn’t back election lies.
  • One expert on extremism and democracy told Insider that his statement is “mostly a power play.”
  • The former president has tried this technique before in the Georgia runoffs, which Republicans lost.

Nearly one year after his defeat, former President Donald Trump is still proselytizing about the unfounded and untrue election “fraud” that he claims resulted in his loss of the presidency to President Joe Biden in November 2020.

But this time the GOP figurehead has attached an ultimatum to his sermon; one aimed at fellow Republican lawmakers: Repeat Trump’s election lies or supporters of the polarizing politician will refuse to vote in upcoming pivotal elections.

On Thursday, Trump published a statement to his political action committee website, Save America, conveying the threat.

“If we don’t solve the Presidential Election Fraud of 2020 (which we have thoroughly and conclusively documented), Republicans will not be voting in ’22 or ’24. It is the single most important thing for Republicans to do,” the statement said.

Official audits and election experts have concluded there was no widespread fraud in the 2020 election, and the Department of Homeland Security declared the election the “most secure in American history.”

The ousted president has been hinting at a 2024 run for president, and maintaining claims of a “stolen election” has become a central narrative in GOP discourse as he attempts to further erode trust in the entire political system, according to Cas Mudde, a professor of international affairs at the University of Georgia who specializes in extremism and democracy.

The former president, though gone from office, still holds sway over the Republican party, and his ominous message creates a problem for the party, Mudde said.

“Now GOP candidates have to find a balance between saying they are pro-Trump and pro-vote,” Mudde told Insider.

But despite the messaging problem Trump has left Republican lawmakers with ahead of impending elections, Mudde said he believes Trump’s most recent threat is “mostly a power play.”

“He wants to remain at the center of GOP politics and prevent the party from moving on without him,” Mudde said.

In a Thursday analysis piece, Washington Post National Correspondent Phillip Bump theorized that the former president’s ultimatum was not, in fact, a threat to withhold his passionate supporters from other Republican candidates, but instead, a preemptive explanation for why he may not be able to energize his base in elections to come.

And indeed, Trump has made this threat before, Mudde pointed out, with regard to the 2021 Georgia Senate run-offs, which saw Democrats flip the Senate in a blow to both Trump and the Republican party. Before voting began in the January election, Trump did eventually walk back his threats to keep his base from voting, and Mudde said he believes the former president will likely downplay his most recent threat in a similar way as the critical 2022 and 2024 elections draw close.

Still, Mudde said the former president’s remarks could decrease the GOP vote a bit, though not by much. But margins are already small in several of the races and many politicians are gearing up for what will likely be tight races.

Some strategists have suggested that Trump’s rampant claims of voter fraud did hurt GOP voter turnout in the Senate runoffs earlier this year, but the former president, along with several other senior Republican figures, has expressed confidence that Republicans will be able to retake Congress in 2022.

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Thousands of student-loan borrowers are getting a second chance at debt forgiveness after being ‘cruelly denied’ under Betsy DeVos

Hundreds of graduation hats are seen in the air above a crowd of students in graduation garb.
Students toss their hats at Wesleyan University’s commencement ceremony in 2018.

  • The American Federation of Teachers reached a settlement with the Education Dept. on student-loan forgiveness.
  • The settlement requires the department to revisit denied applications to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.
  • The lawsuit targeted Trump’s administration, which ran up a 98% denial rate for the program.

A week after the Education Department announced reforms to a program that forgives student debt for public servants like firefighters, teachers, and nonprofit workers after ten years of monthly payments, a teacher’s union announced a victory that’s taking those reforms a step further.

The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) announced on Wednesday that it reached a settlement with the Education Department on a 2019 case – Weingarten v. DeVos – to hold President Donald Trump’s administration accountable for its mismanagement of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. The first borrowers who completed ten years of payments should have become eligible for debt forgiveness in 2017, but under Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, the program ran up a 98% denial rate, which continued into the beginning of President Joe Biden’s term.

The settlement will require the Education Department to revisit the thousands of applications that were denied student-loan forgiveness. Specifically, it will require the department to:

  • Reconsider, upon request, the application of any borrower who was denied forgiveness through PSLF, and those borrowers will now have an official process to submit those requests;
  • Review, within 90 days from today, all PSLF applications denied prior to November 2020;
  • And give borrowers with denied applications a detailed response as to why they were denied, and who they should reach out to with any questions.

“Congress pledged relief to those who dedicated their lives to serving the public, but 98 percent got a debt sentence instead,” AFT President Randi Weingarten said in a statement. “Today is a day of vindication for the millions of borrowers who took the government at its word but were cruelly denied through no fault of their own.”

The settlement will also completely discharge $400,000 in student debt for the eight plaintiffs in the case, who made their qualifying PSLF payments but got denied.

Last week, the Education Department announced an overhaul of PSLF that would implement a limited-time waiver through October 31, 2022, that will allow borrowers to count payments from any federal-loan programs or repayment plans toward loan forgiveness through PSLF, including programs and plans that were not previously eligible.

That waiver alone would bring 550,000 borrowers closer to student-debt relief automatically, and the department also said it would review denied applications before October of next year, which is not as expansive as Wednesday’s settlement.

Insider reported earlier this month that if PSLF had continued on its current track, it might see minor improvements but still only approve 20% of borrowers for forgiveness by 2026; the department’s overhaul, along with the settlement, will likely set borrowers on a much better track.

“This agreement unravels the Gordian knot of PSLF’s implementation and shows the power of advocacy and collective action,” Weingarten said. “It represents a game-changing victory for the millions of educators, nurses, public employees and other AFT members yoked to crushing monthly repayments that have upended their lives.”

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Trump threatens legal action against a $5-a-week ‘uncensored’ social-media app that he claims uses his name and image, a report says

Donald Trump
Donald Trump has threatened legal action over an app called 2nd1st, claiming it uses his profile to attract users for $4.99 a week.

  • Donald Trump has threatened legal action against social-media app 2nd1st, the New York Post reported.
  • 2nd1st calls itself an “uncensored news and chat” app and charges users $4.99 a week.
  • Trump’s attorney said the app used Trump’s name and image for commercial gain, per The Post.

Former President Donald Trump has threatened legal action over a subscription-based “uncensored” social media app that he claims uses his name for commercial gain, The New York Post reported on Tuesday.

The app, published by a company called Howly Inc., is called 2nd1st, and bills itself as an “uncensored news and chat” app and a “free speech platform.” It promises “social without cancel culture,” per its Apple App Store page.

One screenshot of the app featured on the App Store purports to show a 2nd1st post from Trump about his voters having “a GIANT VOICE long into the future.” The text on the image is the same as on Trump’s tweet from January 8, during the aftermath of the Capitol Siege, before Twitter permanently suspended him.

Trump’s attorney, Nathan D. Groth, sent a cease-and-desist letter to Howly on September 30, accusing it of violating “numerous state and federal laws governing misappropriation and right of publicity,” the Post reported, citing a copy of the letter.

2nd1st used the name, image, and likeness of Trump “for commercial purposes,” the letter said, per the Post.

“Specifically, it appears the 2nd1st application profile includes images implying President Donald J. Trump uses or otherwise endorses the application, which he does not,” Groth wrote in the letter, the Post reported.

Trump spokeswoman Liz Harrington told the Post that the former president doesn’t use the app.

After downloading the app, a message pops up saying, “We must not yield to advertisers or cancel culture. Start 3 Day Free Trial then $4.99/wk,” and Trump rally videos appear, the Post reported. The report included a screenshot of the message.

The letter asked the company to cease and desist “any and all exploitation … marketing, advertising, fundraising, or other commercial activities” which refer to Trump’s name, image, and likeness, per the Post. Failure to do so could result in other legal action, the letter said, per the Post.

Insider contacted a Trump representative for comment, but did not immediately hear back. Groth didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment. Insider emailed a 2nd1st support email address, but did not immediately receive a response, and was unable to get in touch with Howly for comment.

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Some GOP officials are urging Republican voters to back Democrats in 2022 to save the party from ‘pro-Trump extremists’

Donald Trump speaks in front of an RNC sign and many American flags.
Two top Republican officials are urging the GOP’s base to vote for Democrats, because “rational Republicans are losing the GOP civil war.”

  • Two GOP officials urged voters to make sure “rational Republicans” don’t lose the “GOP civil war.”
  • The op-ed was written by Miles Taylor, a Trump-era Department of Homeland Security chief of staff, and Christine Todd Whitman, a former Republican Gov. of New Jersey.
  • They highlighted the need to elect a “strong contingent of moderate Democrats” in 2022.

Two GOP officials have urged Republican voters to vote Democrat in the 2022 midterm elections, suggesting that this might be a way for the GOP to “battle pro-Trump extremists.”

Miles Taylor, a Trump-era Department of Homeland Security chief of staff, and Christine Todd Whitman, a former Republican Gov. of New Jersey, penned an op-ed in The New York Times on Monday. Taylor was the Trump administration official who, under the pen name “Anonymous”, wrote a 2018 op-ed in The Times describing a “resistance” of Trump administration officials working to tamper the former president’s “worst inclinations.”

Together, Taylor and Whitman asked that the GOP’s base consider supporting Democrats so that “conservative pragmatists” could retake control of the party.

“Rational Republicans are losing the party civil war. And the only near-term way to battle pro-Trump extremists is for all of us to team up on key races and overarching political goals with our longtime political opponents: the Democrats,” Taylor and Whitman wrote.

“It’s a strategy that has worked,” they wrote. “Mr. Trump lost re-election in large part because Republicans nationwide defected, with seven percent who voted for him in 2016 flipping to support Joe Biden, a margin big enough to have made some difference in key swing states.”

The two argued that this move is necessary because the Republican leadership has “turned belief in conspiracy theories and lies about stolen elections into a litmus test for membership and running for office.” Taylor and Whitman also suggested that if Trump-backed candidates continued to win Republican primaries, they and their allies might start a new, center-right party.

“The best hope for the rational remnants of the Republican Party is for us to form an alliance with Democrats to defend American institutions, defeat far-right candidates, and elect honorable representatives next year – including a strong contingent of moderate Democrats,” Taylor and Whitman wrote.

Their suggested strategy would involve GOP voters supporting Democrats in “difficult races” like Virginia Rep. Abigail Spanberger, Michigan Rep. Elissa Slotkin, and Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly. They also advocated defending a “small nucleus of courageous Republicans” like Reps. Liz Cheney, Adam Kinzinger, and Peter Meijer.

Kinzinger, for one, said in September that he thought the GOP shouldn’t win a majority in the House if it is “pushing division and pushing lies.” Cheney also said in September that she is not ready to cede the GOP to the “voices of extremism,” revealing as well that many Republicans both in the House and the Senate have cheered her on privately in her fight against Trump.

The Republican National Committee did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.

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Corey Lewandowski is banned from Trump’s properties and people were told to alert security if they see him: report

Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski testifies during a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee.
Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski testifies during a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee.

  • Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski is banned from Trump properties, according to The Daily Beast.
  • The ban came directly from former President Donald Trump, per The Daily Beast.
  • A high-profile Republican donor accused Lewandowski of stalking and grabbing her in Las Vegas.

Corey Lewandowski, a campaign manager for President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential run, is banned from Trump’s properties and events, according to a report from The Daily Beast.

According to the report, the request came at the behest of Trump himself after a Republican Party donor, Trashelle Odom, publicly alleged that Lewandowski “stalked” her and grabbed her “legs and buttocks.”

If Lewandowski is seen at a MAGA event or Trump property, The Daily Beast reported that Trump associates are supposed to alert security or personally shoo him away themselves.

In text messages and an email, Trump confidantes were told to “remove Lewandowski (at least for now) from invitations and emails for upcoming GOP and MAGA festivities,” according to the report.

In 2016, Lewandowski had a similar falling out with Trumpworld after being seen on video grabbing a Breitbart reporter by her arm. Charges were later dropped by Palm Beach County prosecutors in Florida.

Lewandowski did not respond to Insider’s request for comment and has previously denied Odom’s allegation through an attorney.

A representative for Lewandowski sent a statement to The Daily Beast denying the report.

“Neither Mr. Lewandowski nor anyone on his legal team has received any communication consistent with the claim that he has been asked not to go to any Trump property,” they said in the statement. “Absolutely none.”

Trump’s press office did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment. The Daily Beast did not receive a response from Trump’s spokesperson, but did reach someone “who answered a call to a phone number for Eric Trump” but “denied being Eric Trump. Asked about Lewandowski, the man hung up.”

The reported Trumpworld rift with Lewandowski resulted in the formation of a new PAC outside of the former campaign manager’s control, described in a recent press release as “the ONLY Trump-approved super PAC,” according to The Daily Beast.

That Super PAC has been rebranded as “Make America Great Again, Again!

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Trump lost weight out of office because he no longer has access to the 24-hour White House kitchen, former aide says

Trump fast food white house
Donald Trump presents fast food to the Clemson Tigers football team at the White House.

  • Donald Trump is happier and slimmer since leaving the White House, a former aide told GB News.
  • Jason Miller said Trump cited the absence of the 24/7 White House kitchen as one reason
  • Miller also said Trump enjoys influencing GOP politics from the sidelines by making endorsements.

Former President Donald Trump lost weight in recent months mainly because he no longer has 24-hour access to the White House kitchen, his former advisor Jason Miller said Sunday.

In an interview with GB News, a British TV channel, Miller described the former president as “a lot happier” as well as being “tanned” and “rested” since leaving the White House in January.

Miller said he recently visited Trump in Florida, where they discussed his well-being.

When asked about Trump’s weight, Miller said the president cited “not having the kitchen there 24/7… a little bit of golf and a whole lot of endorsement.”

The last point appears to be a reference to Trump’s moves to project his influence by endorsing candidates who embrace his politics, or aim to unseat his enemies.

In April this year, an unnamed Trump advisor told Insider’s Tom LoBianco that Trump had “lost 15 pounds since he left the White House.”

In the GB News interview, Miller said that Trump has lost “20 to 25 pounds” since January.

A June 2020 physical exam said that Trump’s weight was 244 pounds, ABC News reported, which is over the clinical threshold for obesity.

Prior reports have described the always-on food production at the White House. A former pastry chef working there from 2006 to 2014 told HuffPost last year that his team was always on standby.

“In theory, we were working 24/7,” Bill Yosses said, though he said no president had then asked for a midnight snack.

Trump does not appear to have spoken much about the 24-hour service in the White House, although he has previously expressed his love of junk food and sweets.

In the same Insider report cited above, an advisor close to Trump said he used to snack extensively on M&M’s while flying on Air Force One.

The former White House physician, Dr. Ronny L. Jackson, once said he tried to hide vegetables in Trump’s food to get him to eat more healthily.

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In a video, former President Donald Trump wished Capitol rioter Ashli Babbitt a happy birthday and called for the DOJ to reopen their investigation into her death

In this Sept. 25, 2021, file photo, former President Donald Trump prepares to take the stage during his Save America rally in Perry, Ga.
In this Sept. 25, 2021, file photo, former President Donald Trump prepares to take the stage during his Save America rally in Perry, Ga.

  • Babbitt was fatally shot on January 6 as she and other rioters attempted to enter the Capitol.
  • A DOJ investigation cleared the Capitol Police officer who killed Babbitt of any wrongdoing.
  • In a video, Trump called for a “fair and nonpartisan” investigation into Babbitt’s death.

Former President Donald Trump recorded a video where he wished deceased Capitol rioter Ashli Babbit happy birthday and called for the Department of Justice to reopen its investigation into her death.

The video was reportedly played at the Texas Loves Ashli Babbitt rally on Sunday, which was held by family and supporters in Freeport, Texas, according to a broadcast from News2Share’s Ford Fischer, who confirmed to Insider that he attended and filmed the rally in person.

Babbitt, an Air Force veteran and endorser of QAnon conspiracy theories, was shot by a US Capitol Police officer when she and other rioters tried to enter a door that led to the House of Representatives on January 6, which Trump said in the video was a “horrible day.”

“Together, we grieve her terrible loss. There was no reason Ashli should’ve lost her life that day. We must all demand justice for Ashli and her family, so on this solemn occasion as we celebrate her life, we renew our call for a fair and nonpartisan investigation into the death of Ashli Babbitt,” Trump said in the video.

The DOJ conducted an investigation into Babbitt’s death and concluded in April that the unnamed Capitol Police officer who fatally shot her acted in self-defense and defense of other officers and members of Congress.

The officer was formally exonerated in August, according to a Capitol Police department memo obtained by NBC News.

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