News & Politics

Trump Called in to a Pro-January 6 Rally at the DC Jail

The former President said the January 6 prisoners in the jail were "being treated very, very unfairly."

Micki Witthoeft, Ashli Babbitt's mother, at the DC Jail in January. Photograph by Evy Mages

Former President Trump called into a small rally held in support of January 6 prisoners at the DC Jail Tuesday. He phoned Micki Witthoeft, whose daughter Ashli Babbitt was killed during the assault Trump supporters led on the US Capitol on January 6, 2021. His appearance via telephone forced a quick end to a rally segment when a speaker named “John, aka DJ Jerome, the MAGA muscleman” called in and made jokes about Prince Andrew adopting Queen Elizabeth’s corgis.

Trump appeared to describe the imprisonment of January 6 suspects as “a terrible thing that has happened to a lot of people that are being treated very, very unfairly” and complained about Michael Byrd, the US Capitol Police officer who shot Babbitt, appearing on television, which he said was a “disgrace.”

“We’re with you, we’re working with a lot of different people on this and we can’t let this happen, this has never happened before,” Trump said. Again apparently referring to the January 6 prisoners, he said “It’s a disgrace to our country and it just cannot be allowed to happen.”

The end of the call appeared to be disrupted by a heckler. Witthoeft thanked Trump for calling in and said, “I know the men inside appreciate you.”

Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute, TBD.com, and Washington City Paper. His book A Bigger Field Awaits Us: The Scottish Soccer Team That Fought the Great War was published in 2018. He lives in Del Ray.