Donald Trump’s former senior campaign adviser blamed the death of a woman in the US Capitol riot on the former president’s heated rhetoric, text messages have revealed.
Brad Parscale appeared to be referring to the death of Ashli Babbit, who was fatally shot by law enforcement during the deadly insurrection, in messages to fellow Trump adviser Katrina Pierson that were shared at the latest January 6 hearing.
In the messages from the day of the riot, Mr Parscale told Ms Pierson that he “felt guilty” for helping Mr Trump win the White House, and described him as “a sitting president asking for civil war.”
Ms Pierson then responded to his message, telling her fellow insider, “You did what you felt right at the time and therefore it was right.”
And Mr Parscale replied, “Yeah, but a woman is dead.” He then added, “If I was Trump and I knew my rhetoric killed someone.” Ms Pierson then responded, “It wasn’t the rhetoric.”
“Katrina,” Mr Parscale replied. “Yes it was.”
Ms Pierson, who was a spokesperson for Mr Trump’s 2016 campaign, helped organise the January 6 rally in Washington DC before the riot.
The hearing heard how on 2 January 2021, she texted former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows about the coming rally and told him that “things have gotten crazy”.
When Mr Meadows called her back, she told the committee that she had told him “there were a bunch of entities coming in,” and described come of them as “very suspect”.
She was then asked what she meant by “suspect”.
“I did briefly go over some of the concerns that I had raised to everybody with Alex Jones or Ali Alexander and some of the rhetoric that they were doing” at other pro-Trump events, she said.