Biden to note ‘historical significance’ of Jan. 6 at one-year mark
President Biden on Thursday will mark the anniversary of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol by underscoring that day’s historical significance, recognizing the bravery of law enforcement and outlining the work the country must still do to strengthen its democracy.
“The president will speak to the historical significance of Jan. 6 and what it means for the country one year later,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Tuesday in the first preview of Biden’s remarks.
The president and Vice President Harris will speak on Thursday morning at the Capitol, one year after a pro-Trump mob stormed the complex in an attempt to stop the counting of Electoral College votes that affirmed Biden’s election victory.
“On Thursday the president is going to speak to the truth of what happened, not the lies that some have spread since, and the peril it has posed to the rule of law and our system of democratic governance,” Psaki said.
“He will also speak to the work we still need to do to secure and strengthen our democracy and our institutions, to reject the hatred and lies we saw on Jan. 6, and to unite our country,” Psaki said.
Biden has previously referred to the insurrection as an assault on U.S. democracy and an attempt to subvert the will of American voters.
Former President Trump and his supporters have repeatedly downplayed the mayhem of that day, when several rioters and a police officer died as lawmakers were rushed to safety and other officers beaten, suggesting it was a mere protest against debunked and unfounded claims of voter fraud, which have been rejected repeatedly by the courts.
Biden intends to put a spotlight the Capitol Police and others on the scene on Jan. 6, Psaki said, “especially the brave men and women of law enforcement who fought to uphold the constitution and protect the Capitol and the lives of the people who were there.”
“Because of their efforts, our democracy withstood an attack from a mob, and the will of more than 150 million people who voted in the presidential election was ultimately registered by Congress,” Psaki said.
Biden’s remarks on Thursday will serve as something of a split screen, as Trump will hold what he has billed as a press conference at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida later on the same day.
Trump has repeatedly downplayed the events of the Jan. 6 riot, and he has continued to make disproven claims that the election was fraudulent. In a speech just before the insurrection, Trump made repeated false claims about the election and urged his supporters to march to the Capitol and make their voices heard.
Democratic strategists said Biden faces a challenge in balancing an effort to unite the country in the face of continued sharp divisions while also firmly pushing back on the continued incendiary rhetoric by Trump about the 2020 election.
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