Former President Donald Trump has criticized House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, a close ally, for defending the Capitol Hill police officer who shot and killed Ashli ​​Babbitt during the January 6 riots.

When asked about comments by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Georgia Republican, that Babbitt had been killed, McCarthy, a California Republican, told reporters Thursday: «I think the police officer did his job.» .

That prompted a social media rebuke from Trump, who aware on his Truth Social account, «I strongly disagree with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy» on the officer who «shot and killed the great patriot Ashli ​​Babbitt.»

Babbitt, a 35-year Air Force veteran and Trump supporter, was with a crowd of protesters on Jan. 6 threatening police officers as they tried to break through the partially glass doors leading into the House chamber. Dozens of lawmakers and staff took refuge inside as police tried to find the safest way to evacuate them.

“As the mob members continued to pound on the glass doors, Ms. Babbitt attempted to climb over one of the doors where the glass was broken,” the Justice Department said in its review of the shooting, which was caught on video by one of the officers. protesters

The officer “discharged one round from his service pistol, striking Ms. Babbitt in the left shoulder, causing her to fall backwards from the doorway and to the floor,” the DOJ statement said. She was rushed to a local hospital, where she died.

The Justice Department declined to file charges against the officer, Lt. Michael Byrd, saying it found no evidence to contradict his claim that he believed it was necessary to shoot Babbitt «in self-defense or in defense of members of Congress and others. evacuating the House chamber.”

Byrd was also cleared of any wrongdoing in a separate internal investigation by the Capitol Police.

In an August 2021 interview with NBC News, Byrd said that he had repeatedly yelled at rioters to come back and that he had fired his gun as a «last resort.»

«If they go through that door, they’re going to be in the House chamber and on members of Congress,» Byrd told Lester Holt, adding, «I tried to wait as long as I could.»

“I hoped and prayed that no one tried to enter those doors. But your non-compliance compelled me to take appropriate action to save the lives of members of Congress, myself and my fellow officers,” he said.

In his Truth Social post, Trump referred to Byrd, a 28-year black veteran of the Capitol Police, as a «thug» and a «COWARD, who wanted to show how tough he was. ASHLI BABBITT WAS MURDERED !!!»

Trump’s challenge to McCarthy comes about a month after the former president tried to help him win the presidency by contacting Republicans who opposed his leadership bid.