US President Joe Biden slammed former President Donald Trump on the one-year anniversary of the January 6 capitol riot, accusing him of putting a 'dagger to the throat of democracy' by watching the unfolding chaos on TV while not stopping it.
In a speech marking the occasion, Biden tore into Trump, saying that “for the first time in our history, a president had not just lost an election, he tried to prevent the peaceful transfer of power as a violent mob breached the Capitol.”
“Close your eyes. Go back to that day. What do you see? Rioters rampaging, waving for the first time inside this Capitol a Confederate flag that symbolized the cause to destroy America, to rip us apart,” Biden said. “Even during the Civil War, that never, ever happened. But it happened here in 2021.”
Biden directly blamed Trump for the events that transpired on January 6, saying he “rallied the mob to attack” and blasted him for “sitting in the private dining room off the Oval Office in the White House, watching it all on television and doing nothing for hours as police were assaulted, lives at risk, and the nation's capital under siege.”
“This wasn't a group of tourists. This was an armed insurrection,” Biden said.
He also accused Trump of spreading a “web of lies about the 2020 election.”
“He's done so because he values power over principle, because he sees his own interests as more important than his country's interests and America's interests, and because his bruised ego matters more to him than our democracy or our Constitution,” the president said without naming Trump directly.
Biden added that Trump “can’t accept he lost.”
“He has done what no president in American history – the history of this country -– has ever, ever done: He refused to accept the results of an election and the will of the American people.”
Biden continued: “The Big Lie being told by the former president and many Republicans who fear his wrath is that the insurrection in this country actually took place on Election Day -- November 3rd, 2020. Think about that. Is that what you thought? Is that what you thought when you voted that day? Taking part in an insurrection? Is that what you thought you were doing? Or did you think you were carrying out your highest duty as a citizen and voting?"
"The former president and his supporters are trying to rewrite history," Biden said. "They want you to see Election Day as the day of insurrection and the riot that took place here on January 6th as the true expression of the will of the people. Can you think of a more twisted way to look at this country -- to look at America? I cannot.”
Biden called the 2020 election “the greatest demonstration of democracy in the history of this country.”
Labelling Trump “not just a former president. He's a defeated former president -- defeated by a margin of over 7 million of your votes in a full and free and fair election,” Biden went on to say that there “is simply zero proof the election results were inaccurate. In fact, in every venue where evidence had to be produced and an oath to tell the truth had to be taken, the former president failed to make his case.”
“Just think about this: The former president and his supporters have never been able to explain how they accept as accurate the other election results that took place on November 3rd – the elections for governor, United States Senate, the House of Representatives – elections in which they closed the gap in the House.”
Trump reacted to Biden’s comments in a statement decrying Biden’s tenure in office as “destroying our nation with insane policies,” listing “open borders, corrupt elections, disastrous energy policies, unconstitutional mandates, and devastating school closures.”
Trump accused Biden of using the speech to divide Americans.
“This political theater is all just a distraction for the fact Biden has completely and totally failed,” Trump said.
"The Democrats want to own this day of January 6th so they can stoke fears and divide America. I say, let them have it because America sees through theirs lies and polarizations," the former president added.