Capitol Riot: Takeaways From Biden’s Rebuke Of Donald Trump

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President Joe Biden marked the anniversary of the riot on the US Capitol Thursday with a hard-hitting speech squarely blaming Donald Trump for the mayhem and arguing that US democracy is in jeopardy.

Biden called out Trump’s effort to cheat and blasted the mob of the Republican’s supporters who stormed the Capitol in an attempt to prevent certification of the election result.

Here are the key highlights from the address:

– Trump’s ‘web of lies’ –

Biden assailed Trump as a self-centred liar who simply could not accept defeat in the 2020 election and placed his own interests above those of the nation.

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“The former president of the United States of America has created and spread a web of lies about the 2020 election,” Biden said, alluding to Trump’s oft-repeated and baseless claim that the election was stolen from him through fraud.

“He’s done so because he values power over principle because he sees his own interest as more important than his country’s interest,” Biden said.

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“He can’t accept he lost.”

– Mob was ‘not tourists’ –

Biden dismissed some Republicans’ claim that the riot was a legitimate political demonstration in which some people got out of hand. He said Trump sat at the White House “watching it all” on television and doing nothing for hours.

“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,” Biden said.

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“They came here in rage,” Biden said, and “held a dagger at the throat of America.”

“I will allow no one to place a dagger at the throat of democracy.”

Laying out the dangers facing a country that has long styled itself as leader of the free world, Biden asked: “Are we going to be a nation that accepts political violence as a norm?”

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“Are we going to be a nation where we allow partisan election officials to overturn the legally expressed will of the people?” the veteran Democrat continued.

“We cannot allow ourselves to be that kind of nation.”

Although Biden did not mention Trump’s name, he made clear whom he was talking about in a blistering portrait of a man he said tried to cheat his way out of defeat in the election.

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Biden Has Completely Failed — Trump

But in a statement issued immediately after Biden’s speech, Trump accused the Democrat of seeking to “further divide America.”

“This political theater is all just a distraction for the fact Biden has completely and totally failed,” Trump said.

More Division In Congress

The day’s commemorative events were also to feature a speech by the speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, and a prayer vigil on the steps of the Capitol.

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However, such are the depths of division 12 months later that many senior Republicans didn’t even show up.

The party’s top lawmaker, Senator Mitch McConnell, was leading a delegation to a funeral of a recently deceased senator some 600 miles (965 kilometers) away in Atlanta, Georgia.

In a statement, McConnell said January 6 had been a “dark day” but called it “stunning to see some Washington Democrats try to exploit this anniversary.”

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