President Joe Biden delivered a speech Thursday marking the one-year anniversary of the ultimately fatal Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riot, during which he condemned Donald Trump’s “web of lies” regarding the outcome of the election.
In his speech—which can be viewed in full above starting at the 21:10 mark with about eight minutes of speaking from Vice President Kamala Harris—Biden focused on Trump’s role in insurrection that took place in Washington, D.C. He referred to Trump as “not just a former president,” but “a defeated former president.” In the run-up to the events of Jan. 6, 2021, Trump cast major doubt on the outcome of the 2020 election and refused to accept defeat. Trump has been criticized by many, specifically on the Democrat side, for instigating the violent mob that descended on the Capitol.
“You cannot be patriotic when you embrace and enable lies,” said Biden in his speech on Thursday. “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.”
He went on to accuse Trump’s biggest supporters of attempting to “rewrite history” about the events of Jan. 6, which he called “an armed insurrection.” Biden also accused Trump of “doing nothing” as the travesty happened.
“[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 said: he lost,” Biden continued. “That’s what 81 million of you did when you voted for a new way forward.”
Elsewhere in the speech, he lambasted those who criticized Capitol and D.C. Metropolitan police officers who testified about their experiences that day at the January 6th Committee hearing. “How dare anyone diminish, belittle, or deny the hell they were put through,” he added.
In her introductory remarks, VP Harris said, “Certain dates echo throughout history, including dates that instantly remind all who have lived through them where they were, and what they were doing, when our democracy came under assault. Dates that occupy not only a place on our calendars, but a place in our collective memory: December 7th, 1941, September 11th, 2001, and January 6th, 2021.”
In tweets made after the speech, Biden reiterated some of the biggest points. “Here is 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.”
Watch Biden’s full speech on the one-year anniversary of Jan. 6, 2021 up top.