President Joe Biden on Thursday blamed former President Donald Trump for creating a “web of lies” about the 2020 elections and inciting his followers to storm the Capitol a year ago.
“His wounded ego matters more to him than our democracy and our Constitution. He cannot accept that he lost,” Biden said in a speech from the Capitol on the first anniversary of the attack that left 5 dead and 140 officers wounded.
Although he did not mention Trump by name, Biden devoted much of his speech to criticizing his predecessor, who just before the assault on January 6, 2021, encouraged his followers – congregated in Washington – to march to the Capitol and “fight “ to prevent the electoral result from being endorsed.
“The former president of the United States of America has created and spread a web of lies about the 2020 elections. He has done so because he values power more than principle,” said Biden.
He denounced that Trump and his allies have decided that “the only way for them to win is to suppress the vote and subvert the elections”, in a context of growing reforms at the state level that, in practice, promise to make it difficult for minorities to vote and people with fewer economic resources.
“You cannot love our country only when you win. You cannot obey the law only when it suits you. You cannot be patriotic when you embrace lies and allow them,” he added.
Visibly irritated, the president insisted that there is “zero evidence” of the allegations of electoral fraud that Trump spread after the 2020 elections and that have caused the majority of Republican voters to still not believe that Biden won the election legitimately.
“He is not only a former president. He is a defeated former president, by a margin of more than 7 million of his votes, in full, free, and fair elections,” he stressed.
Biden promised to remain alert to the possibility that the Republican opposition could try to turn around a possible result that does not favor them in the next electoral cycles: the legislative cycles of November of this year and the presidential ones of 2024.
“I will defend this nation. I will not let anyone put a dagger to the throat of democracy,” he stressed.
He insisted that “the promise of democracy is at risk” both in the United States and in the world, where, in his opinion, an ideological battle is being waged against the “autocracies” of countries such as China and Russia.
Biden’s speech came after a shorter one by the US Vice President, Kamala Harris, and before a series of events began in Congress within a day of reflection on the anniversary of the assault.