Biden blames Trump’s ‘web of lies’ for US Capitol attack in first anniversary speech – live

 

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “Biden blames Trump’s ‘web of lies’ for US Capitol attack in first anniversary speech – live” was written by Vivian Ho, for theguardian.com on Thursday 6th January 2022 18.38 UTC

 

On the one-year anniversary of the 6 January attack on the US Capitol, Joe Biden accused his predecessor, Donald Trump, of being the first president in US history to try to “prevent a peaceful transfer of power as a violent mob breached the Capitol.”

Wyoming congresswoman Liz Cheney has had a tumultuous year in the Republican party following the 6 January attack on the US Capitol.

She was ousted from her leadership position in the Republican caucus over her refusal to stop blaming Donald Trump for inciting the mob that stormed the Capitol, and the Wyoming Republican party stopped recognizing her as a member after she voted to impeach him because of 6 January.

It appears it got tense with her party even earlier though – the day of the 6 January attack. Cheney has now confirmed to the New York Times one infamous tidbit from that day: when she told her Republican colleague and staunch Trump ally congressman Jim Jordan that he “fucking did this”.

Jordan had been standing in the aisle as members of Congress were being escorted away from the mob and he said to Cheney: “We need to get the ladies away from the aisle. Let me help you.”

To which she sharply replied: “Get away from me. You fucking did this.”

Donald Trump has issued another statement in response to the speech that Joe Biden gave today commemorating the anniversary of the 6 January attack on the US Capitol.

Once again, much of the statement is the former president repeating the disproven claims that the 2020 presidential election was rigged and that “they’re the ones who tried to stop the peaceful transfer with a rigged election” – a statement that is not only false, because once again, all allegations that the election was rigged have been disproven, but makes no sense because had Trump won like he wanted to happen, there would not have been a transfer of power? He also does not specify who means by “they”.

“To watch Biden speaking is very hurtful to many people,” he said.

Nancy Pelosi commented on the large amount of Republicans that did not show up to remarks on the Capitol attacks of 6 January 2021.

While speaking to a reporter from Business Insider about the lack of Republican attendance at today’s remarks, the House speaker said: “I think the message was very clear, by the president of the United States.”

Wyoming representative Liz Cheney and her father, former vice-president Dick Cheney, were the only Republicans present for Pelosi’s speech compared with about 32 Democrats.

Pelosi acknowledged during her speech that Covid-19 greatly reduced the number of Congress members attending her remarks in-person.

Updated

Nancy Pelosi gives remarks on Capitol attack

Nancy Pelosi has just finished delivering remarks on the events of 6 January 2021.

The House speaker’s remarks began with a prayer from the House chaplain, Margaret Kibben, who spoke on the political turmoil following 6 January.

“On this anniversary of national discord and despair, send your healing spirit among us and tend to the dispiritedness and disagreement here within and around the people’s house,” said Kibben.

Pelosi then gave remarks, honoring personnel on the ground who helped protect members of Congress during the attack.

“As we acknowledge the horror of that day, in the face of extreme danger, they all risked their safety for our democracy by protecting the Capitol complex, members, staff, press, etc,” said Pelosi.

Pelosi also conducted a moment of silence to remember those who died on 6 January.

A live stream is available at the top of the blog.

Updated

Interim summary

  • On the anniversary of the 6 January attack on the US Capitol, Joe Biden placed the blame for the day’s events on Donald Trump.
  • Donald Trump responded by saying Biden “used my name today to try to further divide America”.
  • The House select committee tasked with investigating the 6 January attack on the US Capitol believes former vice-president Mike Pence will cooperate with their inquiry.

Updated

House speaker Nancy Pelosi will be delivering remarks commemorating the anniversary of the 6 January attack on the US Capitol today at 12pm local time. We’ll have a livestream here.

Joe Biden answered the question on why he never called Donald Trump by name in his speech on the anniversary of the 6 January attack of the US Capitol, despite having very strong words to say about him in blaming him for the attack.

“It’s not about me. It’s not about the vice-president. That’s what bothers me most about the attitude that’s emerging in American politics,” Biden told reporters. “It’s not about whether I’m president, or she’s vice-president. It’s about the system, and about if somebody decides to put himself above everything.”

Updated

Meanwhile, Ron DeSantis, governor of Florida, said the anniversary of the 6 January attack on the US Capitol was like “Christmas” for New York and Washington-based media.

“The DC-New York media, I mean, this is their Christmas, January 6, OK?” he told New York Times reporter Patricia Mazzei. “They are going to take this and milk this for anything they could to try and to try to be able to smear anyone anyone who ever supported Donald Trump.”

Reminder that many members of the DC press corps were in the Capitol when the mob stormed the gates and had to hide for their lives. Journalists were assaulted and harassed that day, with insurrectionists making nooses out of camera cords and scratching “Murder the Media” into a door at the Capitol.

Donald Trump has responded to Joe Biden and his strong words blaming him for the 6 January attack on the US Capitol.

Biden “used my name today to try to further divide America,” Trump said – even though Biden did not once mention Trump by name in his speech.

“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 [sic] lies and polarizations.”

The Associated Press has collected a sampling of what some of the insurrectionists who stormed the US Capitol in the 6 January attack are saying as they face prison time or are pleading guilty.

Some, like Robert Palmer of Florida, directly blame Donald Trump for misleading them, while others remain defiant.

“I have realized that we, meaning Trump supporters, were lied to by those that at the time had great power, meaning the then sitting President, as well as those acting on his behalf,” Palmer wrote in a handwritten letter.

“They kept spitting out the false narrative about a stolen election and how it was ‘our duty’ to stand up to tyranny. Little did I realize that they were the tyrannical ones desperate to hold on to power at any cost, even by creating the chaos they knew would happen with such rhetoric.”

Palmer was sentenced to more than five years in prison for throwing a fire extinguisher and attacking police officers.

“My conservative creed still remains the same. However, the system of governance, a constitutional republic, and the processes in place for deciding who sits in the Oval Office behind the Resolute Desk transcends any one candidate or party,” wrote Devlyn Thompson in a handwritten letter. “That peaceful transfer of power and the method set out for achieving it are worthy of protection. My message to fellow conservatives, or any American dissenting with the current administration, is that we must continue our work within the confines of the system and condemn the actions on January 6th as atrocious.”

Thompson, of Seattle, pleaded guilty to assaulting a police officer with a baton and was sentenced to nearly four years in prison.

“The only plan I had was to go to the White House Ellipse to listen to President Trump’s speech. He said during his speech that he would be going to the capitol after he spoke and he asked us to walk there together after his speech,” Valerie Elaine Ehrke wrote in a letter to the court. “I left his speech early to walk back to my hotel room because I was cold. Once back in my room, I saw on the news that people where (sic) at the capitol building. … Having travelled a long way to attend this rally, I decided to put on an extra layer of clothing and walk to the capitol.”

Trump never went to the Capitol that day. Ehrke, of California, was sentenced to three years’ probation.

Former president Barack Obama issued a statement on the anniversary of the 6 January attack on the US Capitol to warn that “our democracy is at greater risk today than it was back then”.

“Although initially rejected by many Republicans, the claims that fanned the flames of violence on January 6th have since been embraced by a sizeable portion of voters and elected officials – many of whom know better,” Obama said in the statement. “State legislatures across the country have not only made it harder to vote, but some have tried to assert power over core election processes including the ability to certify election results. And those remaining Republican officials and thought leaders who have courageously stood their ground and rejected such anti-democratic efforts have been ostracized, primaried, and driven from the party.”

Joe Biden ended his speech on the anniversary of the 6 January attack on the US Capitol with an oft-repeated phrase of his: that we are in a “battle for the soul of America”.

“We are in a battle for the soul of America, a battle that by the grace of God and the goodness and greatness of this nation, we will win,” he said. “I know how difficult democracy is. I’m crystal clear about the threats that America faces. But I also know that our darkest days can lead to light and hope.”

Joe Biden called the actions of the insurrectionists and Donald Trump “un-American”.

“They want to rule or they will ruin, ruin what our country fought for at Lexington and Concord, at Gettysburg, and Omaha Beach, Seneca Falls and Selma, Alabama, and what we’re fighting for now: The right to vote. The right to govern ourselves. The right to determine our own destiny,” Biden said.

“With rights come responsibilities. The responsibility to see each other as neighbors. Maybe we disagree with that neighbor, but they’re not an adversary. The responsibility to accept defeat, and then get back in the arena and try again the next time to make your case. The responsibility to see that America is an idea, an idea that requires vigilant stewardship.”

Updated

Joe Biden is hammering hard on Donald Trump in his speech on the one-year anniversary of the 6 January attack of the US Capitol, but it may be necessary. In going hard at Trump, he is going hard at the “big lie” of widespread election fraud and that Biden didn’t really win the election – which has been disproven time and time again.

But even though this lie has been disproven time and time again, more than 40% of Americans still do not believe that Biden legitimately won the 2020 presidential election.

“He’s not just the former president,” Biden said of Trump. “He’s the defeated former president, defeated by more than 7m of your votes, in a full and free and fair election. There is simply zero proof the election results were inaccurate. In fact, in every venue where evidence had to be produced, where oaths of truth had to be taken, the former president failed to make his case.

Biden continued: “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 on November 3, elections for governor, United states senator, House of Representatives, elections where they closed the gap in the house. They challenged none of that.”

Updated

Biden: Trump ‘has created and spread a web of lies’

Joe Biden continued to go strong against Donald Trump in his speech on the anniversary of the 6 January attack on the US Capitol:

“The former president of the United States of America has created and spread a web of lies about the 2020 election,” Biden said.

“He has done so because he values power over principle, because he sees his own interests as more important than his country’s interests. Because his bruised ego matters more to him than our democracy or our constitution.

“He 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 said: he lost. That’s what 81 million of you did when you voted for a new way forward.”

 

Updated

Biden lays responsibility of 6 January attack on Trump

Joe Biden has taken the podium to speak on the anniversary of the 6 January attack of the US Capitol, and he immediately comes out strong in laying the responsibility of the mob’s actions on Donald Trump.

“One year ago today in this sacred place, democracy was attacked,” Biden said. “The will of the people was under assault. The constitution, our constitution, faced the gravest of threats.”

Biden continued: “For the first time in our history, a president had not just lost an election, he tried to prevent a peaceful transfer of power as a violent mob breached the Capitol”.

Updated

Vice-president Kamala Harris said she tells young people that she meets that the 6 January attack “reflects the dual nature of democracy: its fragility and its strength”.

“You see, the strength of democracy is the rule of law,” she said. “The strength of democracy is the principle that everybody is to be treated equally, that elections should be free and fair, that corruption should be given no order. The strength of democracy is that it empowers the people. The fragility of democracy is this: if we are not vigilant, if we don’t defend it, democracy will not stand. It will falter. And it will fall.”

Vice-president Kamala Harris has taken the podium to speak about the anniversary of the 6 January attack on the US Capitol. Harris was vice-president-elect on that day, but she was also a senator. Though she had left the building at the time the mob breeched the gates, she spoke of how her staff was forced to convert “filing cabinets into barricades.”

Harris said the day now lives on as one of the worst days in American history along with attack on Pearl Harbor and 9/11.

“What the extremists who roamed these halls targeted was not just the lives of elected leaders,” Harris said. “What they sought to degrade and destroy was not only a building, hallowed as it is. What they were assaulting were the institutions, the values, the ideas that generations of Americans have marched, picketed and shed blood to establish and defend.”

Updated

Joe Biden and vice-president Kamala Harris are preparing to speak to the American public from National Statuary Hall, just south of the rotunda that was invaded and besmirched by rioters during the 6 January attack on the US Capitol.

We’ll have a livestream for you here on this blog.

Updated

Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell has used his statement on the 6 January attack on the US Capitol was a dark day for Congress and our country” – to throw a potshot at the Democrats.

“It has been stunning to see some Washington Democrats try to exploit this anniversary to advance partisan policy goals that long predated this event,” McConnell said in a statement. “It is especially jaw-dropping to hear some Senate Democrats invoke the mob’s attempt to disrupt our country’s norms, rules, and institutions as a justification to discard our norms, rules, and institutions themselves.”

Democrats like senate majority leader Chuck Schumer have been tying the insurrection – in which supporters of Donald Trump stormed the Capitol in an attempt to disrupt the certification of the 2020 election result of Joe Biden’s victory – to the Republican attack on voter rights across the country.

The Guardian’s Sam Levine has more on what Republicans have done across the country in terms of voting restrictions:

Meanwhile, here is what McConnell said about the insurrection, one year ago:

Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer was on CBS reflecting on the 6 January attack on the US Capitol, when he was “within 30ft of those rioters”. He recounted how a Capitol police officer in bulletproof vest, carrying a sub-machine gun, grabbed him by the collar and said: “Senator, we are in danger”.

“When democracy is in danger, it often starts with a mob,” Schumer said. “Not everyone is part of the mob, but people excuse the mob. People egg on the mob. Donald Trump is still doing it, and we’re seeing violence still right now, threats of violence, against election workers, poll workers, across the country.”

Updated

An interesting tidbit coming out of the Today Show interview with Liz Cheney, the vice-chair of the special House committee investigating the 6 January attack on the US Capitol, is that she said she is looking forward to former vice-president Mike Pence cooperating with the committee – as well as continuing the cooperation the committee has been having with Pence’s team.

“Former vice-president Pence was a hero on January 6,” Cheney said. “He refused the pressures of the former president, he did his duty and the nation should be very grateful for the actions he took that day. We look forward to continuing the cooperation we’ve had from members of the former vice president’s team and look forward to his cooperation.”

As former vice-president, Pence was serving as president of the Senate one year ago when the insurrectionists stormed the Capitol. He had been unwilling to go along with Donald Trump and his plan to commandeer Pence’s largely ceremonial role at the joint session of Congress for the certification of the 2020 presidential election result of Joe Biden’s victory.

That day, Trump supporters chanted, “Hang Mike Pence!” and Pence was evacuated along with other high-ranking members of Congress. But later, Pence has done his best to not talk about the attack – or speak ill of Trump whatsoever, staying consistent along party lines.

Updated

Here’s more from Liz Cheney, the vice chair of the special House committee investigating the 6 January attack on the US Capitol, who was on the Today Show this morning.

She told Savannah Guthrie that our institutions “only held because of people who were willing to stand up against the pressure from former president Trump, people in his own Department of Justice … elected officials at the state level who stood up to him and the law enforcement officers here at the Capitol.”

“We came very close, and we need to recognize how important it is that the system depends on individuals and that it never happens again,” Cheney said.

Guthrie asked Cheney if she thought our democracy was still in a fragile state. Cheney replied, “The threat continues.”

Donald Trump continues to make the same claims that he knows caused violence on January 6 and it’s very important, if you look at what’s happening in my own party, the Republican party, rather than reject what happened on the 6th, reject the lies about the election and make clear that a president who engaged in those activities can never be president again – unfortunately, too many in my own party are embracing the former president, looking the other way and refusing to minimize the danger,” Cheney said. “That’s how democracies die and we simply cannot let that happen.”

Updated

Liz Cheney: Trump’s conduct on day of attack was ‘a supreme dereliction of duty’

Hello, live blog readers.

Today marks the one-year anniversary of one of the worst days in US history: the 6 January attack on the US Capitol. The day a mob of Donald Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in an attempt to stop Congress from certifying the 2020 presidential election result of Joe Biden’s victory – clashing with police, destroying property and leaving five people dead.

In his remarks from the Capitol steps today, Biden is expected to lay out the “singular responsibility” that Trump has for the “chaos and carnage” of that day, according to the White House.

Though his attorney general, Merrick Garland, may have disappointed some critics calling for swifter and harsher justice – in particular for the former president – with his speech yesterday detailing the justice department investigation, Biden’s strong stance against Trump is sure to draw him favors. Biden has been “clear-eyed” about the “threat the former president represents to our democracy”, the White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, said in a briefing on Wednesday.

The Guardian’s David Smith has more here:

Meanwhile, Liz Cheney, the vice-chair of the special House committee investigating the 6 January insurrection said live this morning that the committee looks forward to the cooperation of former vice-president Mike Pence – who had to be evacuated from the chambers that day, as many in the mob were chanting, “Hang Mike Pence”.

She also said said Trump’s conduct on the day was “a supreme dereliction of duty”.

Updated

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010

Published via the Guardian News Feed plugin for WordPress.

Hits: 171