President Joe Biden has delivered a speech on the one year anniversary of the Capitol Riot and condemned the political violence that saw five people die as Donald Trump supporters stormed the complex. Alongside the deaths, 15 police officers needed hospital treatment and millions of dollars worth of damage was caused.
During the raid in Washington on 6 January 2021, politicians were forced to run for safety as the mob tried to halt the certification of Mr Biden’s election victory. After the dust had settled many blamed Donald Trump for encouraging the rioters to attack the building by falsely claiming that the victory for the Democrats had been “stolen” away from him. During his speech, Mr Biden launched a scathing attack on the former president.
As he spoke in the Statuary Hall of the US Capitol, he said Trump had “spread a web of lies” about the election. “He’s done so because he values power over principle,” Mr Biden said, as he blamed the former Republican leader for the Capitol Riot. “For the first time in our history, a president not just lost an election, he tried to prevent the peaceful transfer of power as a violent mob breached the Capitol,” Mr Biden said. “But they failed.”
He said Mr Trump “can’t accept he lost”.
“Even though that’s what 93 United States senators, his own attorney general, his own vice president, governors and state officials in every battleground state have all said… he lost. That’s what 81 million of you did as you voted for a new way forward.”
Mr Biden continued: “He has done what no president in American history has ever, ever done. He refused to accept the results of an election.”
“Democracy was attacked,” he said. “We the people endure. We the people prevailed.”
He described the harrowing, violent scene of the Capitol Riot, including the mob attacking police, threatening the House speaker, putting up gallows threatening to hang then-vice president Mike Pence – all while then-President Trump sat at the White House watching it on TV, reports Sky News.
Donald Trump released a statement in response to Mr Biden’s speech in which he attacks the Democrat’s leadership. He said: “Biden, who is destroying our Nation with insane policies of open borders, corrupt elections, disastrous energy policies, unconstitutional mandates, and devastating school closures, used my name today to try to further divide America.
“This political theatre 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.”
He added that the Democrats “want to own this day of 6 January so they can stoke fears and divide America. I say, let them have it because America sees through their lies and polarisations”.
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