On Thursday (Jan. 6), President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris marked the anniversary of the Jan. 6 Capitol attack with speeches reflecting on the deadly pro-Trump riot. Addressing the nation from Statuary Hall, Biden condemned Former President Donald Trump for creating and spreading a “web of lies about the 2020 election” that led to the Capitol insurrection.
“For the first time in our history, a president not just lost the election, he tried to prevent a peaceful transfer of power as a violent mob breached the Capitol,” Biden said. “We must make sure that never happens again.”
The POTUS never directly said his predecessor’s name, but did denounce Trump’s incitement of the deadly riot last year.
“He’s not just a former president,” Biden said of Trump. “He’s a defeated former president.” Biden added that the former POTUS “values power over principle” and claimed his “bruised ego matters more to him than our democracy.”
Vice President Harris addressed the country before Biden and said the “American spirit is being tested.”
“The answer to whether we will meet that test resides where it has always resided in our country, with you, the people,” she said.
In her speech, Harris also called on the Senate to pass voting rights legislation to “unite in defense of our democracy.”
Biden and Harris’ speeches kicked off a day-long series of events that Democratic lawmakers planned to mark the Capitol riot anniversary. A moment of silence is planned for the House floor at 12 p.m. EST; followed by a panel with historians Doris Kearns Goodwin and Jon Meacham moderated by Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden; and ending with a prayer vigil on the Capitol steps led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
According to Pelosi, the anniversary events “are intended as an observance of reflection, remembrance and recommitment, in a spirit of unity, patriotism and prayerfulness.”