President Biden says holding former President Trump accountable for the Jan. 6 attack is about confronting the truth so America can move on.
- “I’m crystal clear about the threats America faces,” he said at the Capitol today in a fiery speech on the anniversary of the riot. “But I also know that our darkest days can lead to light and hope.”
Between the lines: Biden also previewed themes for 2024 — especially if there’s a Biden-Trump rematch.
- Biden signaled that he’d argue directly that Trump would be a threat to America and that his role in fomenting the attack on the Capitol was disqualifying.
Biden told reporters after his remarks in Statuary Hall that he referred to Trump as the “former president” — rather than call him by name — because “I did not want to turn it into a contemporary political battle between me” and Trump.
- “It’s way beyond that. … It’s about the system.”
But during his speech, Biden made a point to call Trump “a defeated former president” driven by “profit and power” over principle.
- He taunted Trump that he “can’t accept he lost,” and declared he must not be allowed to “rewrite history.”
The other side: Trump responded with a string of emailed statements alleging that Biden “used my name today to try to further divide America.” He labeled it “political theater” and “all just a distraction for the fact Biden has completely and totally failed.”
- “To watch Biden speaking is very hurtful for many people,” Trump said, adding that “this is an election year and MAGA Republicans should get elected and work with me to fix this horror.”