Meanwhile, Donald Trump is still spreading election lies a year after he instigated a riot at the U.S. Capitol.
In biting remarks on Thursday morning, the one-year anniversary of the U.S. Capitol insurrection, President Joe Biden castigated his predecessor, Donald Trump, for fomenting the event that saw an angry mob breaching the building on a mission to overturn the 2020 election results.
"The former president of the United States has created and spread a web of lies about the 2020 election," Biden said in a live address from the Capitol's Statuary Hall, where rioters trespassed a year ago. "He's done so because he values power over principle. Because his bruised ego matters more to him than our democracy or Constitution."
Biden slammed Trump's repeated claims that the results of the election were rigged and that rioters were "patriots," asserting that "no election in American history has been more closely scrutinized or more carefully counted" as he pointed to the numerous audits and recounts that took place following the election.
Biden noted that an overwhelming majority of senators, 93 in total, rejected an attempt by Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) to block certification of Arizona's electoral votes the night of the insurrection and that members of the Trump administration acknowledged their boss' loss.
And he lambasted those who refused to peacefully accept the election results.
"You cannot love your country only when you win," Biden said. "You cannot obey the law only when it is convenient. You cannot be patriotic when you embrace and enable lies. 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 America, at American democracy."
A year ago, on Jan. 6, 2021, Trump delivered a speech on the Ellipse encouraging a crowd of soon-to-be rioters to "show strength" and "fight like hell" because Biden's election win, he said, was fraudulent. The pro-Trump mob went on to assault law enforcement officers as it stormed the Capitol, and five officers who served at the Capitol that day died in the days and weeks that followed the riot.
Trump waited more than two hours that day before calling on the National Guard and tweeting a video calling for his supporters at the Capitol to "go home." But to this day, he continues to lie about the integrity of the election, which he lost by more than 7 million votes.
Trump had initially planned to hold a press conference at his Mar-a-Lago Club Thursday, but allies reportedly talked him out of it, convincing him that repeating his lies about the election on the one-year anniversary of the insurrection would be a bad idea, according to Axios.
Instead, Trump released a statement attacking Biden and the House select committee that's now investigating the attack.
"Why is it that the Unselect Committee of totally partisan political hacks, whose judgment has long ago been made, not discussing the rigged Presidential Election of 2020? It's because they don't have the answers or justifications for what happened. They got away with something, and it is leading to our Country's destruction," the statement reads.
The select committee is made up of seven Democrats and two Republicans, all chosen by Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. While it was first proposed as a bipartisan committee, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) withdrew the GOP's participation after Pelosi rejected his picks, Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Jim Banks (R-IN), who had both backed Trump's calls to overturn the election results.
Since Jan. 6, many Republicans have fallen in line behind Trump, defending the rioters as political prisoners and blaming Democrats for the insurrection.
And while Trump faced condemnation from party leaders and the public at the time, his support among Republicans is still high, with polls positioning him as the leading GOP nominee for president in 2024 should he seek the nomination.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.