Psaki says Biden will address Trump’s role in Capitol riot
President Biden will speak about the responsibility that he believes former President Trump had in the Capitol attack on Thursday, the one-year anniversary of the insurrection, according to the White House.
During Wednesday’s daily briefing, White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked if the president would address Trump’s role in the riot. She responded, “yes.”
“I would expect that President Biden will lay out the significance of what happened at the Capitol and the singular responsibility President Trump has for the chaos and carnage that we saw,” Psaki told reporters.
“And he will forcibly push back on the lie spread by the former president in an attempt to mislead the American people and his own supporters, as well as distract from his role and what happened,” she added.
Before the attack at the Capitol, the former president repeatedly made unsupported claims that the 2020 election was tainted by widespread voter fraud, and that the election was “stolen” from him.
Biden and Vice President Harris will speak on Thursday morning at the Capitol, one year after Trump supporters stormed the building in an effort to halt the certification of Biden’s 2020 victory.
When asked if Biden will call Trump by name in his remarks, Psaki said, “We’ll see; we’re finalizing the speech but I think people will know who he’s referring to.”
The White House previously said that Biden will mark the anniversary by underscoring the historical significance of the day, recognizing the bravery of law enforcement and outlining the work the country must still do to strengthen its democracy.
On Wednesday, Psaki said that Biden is involved in writing the speech and noted that he feels personally impacted by the events on Jan. 6, especially due to the 36 years he spent in the Senate.
“I’d also note that President Biden has been clear-eyed about the threat the former president represents to our democracy and how the former president constantly works to undermine the basic American values and rule of law,” she said, adding that Biden believes Trump abused his office, undermined the Constitution, and ignored his oath of office to amass more power.
Psaki said that Biden sees Jan. 6 “as a tragic culmination” of the four years of the Trump presidency, adding that Biden was personally impacted by the decisions of GOP lawmakers.
“I think the role of the former president in this, and unfortunately the silence and the complacency of a number of far too many, not every, but far too many members of the Republican party in the time since then in perpetuating the ‘big lie’ has stuck with him as well,” Psaki said.