President Biden marked the anniversary of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol with a scathing speech in which he strongly condemned the violence and said his predecessor, Donald Trump, “has created and spread a web of lies about the 2020 election.”
Speaking from Statuary Hall just outside the House chamber, Biden said that “for the first time in our history, a president not just lost the election, he tried to prevent a peaceful transfer of power as a violent mob breached the Capitol.”
“We must make sure that never happens again,” Biden said.
Thursday marks one year since a mob of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol building hoping to block lawmakers from certifying Biden’s 2020 election win.
“He’s not just a former president,” Biden said of Trump. “He’s a defeated former.”
He said Trump sat in the White House “watching it all on television and doing nothing” as police were assaulted and “the nation’s Capitol was under siege.”
Biden said the U.S is in “a battle for the soul of America.”
“You cannot be patriotic when you embrace and enable lies,” said Biden. “Those who stormed this Capitol, and those who instigated and incited, and those who called on them to do so, held a dagger at the throat of American democracy.”
Donald Trump responded to President Biden’s sharp criticism in his speech, saying Democratic successor is trying to distract from his record.
Biden “used my name today to try to further divide America,” Trump said in his statement. “The political theater is all just a distraction for the fact Biden has completely and totally failed.”
“Our Country no longer has Borders, has totally and completely lost control of Covid (record numbers!), is no longer Energy Independent, Inflation is rampant, our Military is in chaos, and our exit, or surrender, from Afghanistan was perhaps the most embarrassing day in the long and distinguished history of the United States—and so much more,” Trump continued.
In tweets made after his speech, Biden reiterated some of the biggest points. “Here’s the truth: The former president of the United States has created and spread a web of lies about the 2020 election,” he wrote. “He’s done so because he values power over principle. Because his bruised ego matters more to him than our democracy or Constitution.”
In his speech, he also went on to accuse Trump’s biggest supporters of attempting to “rewrite history” about the events on Jan., which he called “an armed insurrection.”
“You can’t pretend. This is serious stuff,” Biden said. “You’ve got to face it. That’s what great nations do. They face the truth, deal with it and move on.”