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Biden says Trump’s ‘web of lies’ poses ongoing threat to US democracy

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Joe Biden laid into his predecessor Donald Tump in a speech on the first anniversary of the deadly Capitol insurrection.

The US President delivered what he declared was the “God’s truth” attacking Trump’s violent supporters for fundamentally changing Congress and raising global concerns about the future of American democracy.

“Here’s the truth: the former president has created a web of lies about the 2020 election,” Mr Biden said on Thursday.

“For the first time in our history, a president not just lost an election, he tried to prevent the peaceful transfer of power as a violent mob breached the Capitol,” Biden said. “But they failed.”

“I will stand in this breach,” he declared, his voice rising.

“Democracy was attacked,” Biden said at the Capitol. “We the people endure. We the people prevailed.”

Mr Biden and Democrats started the day in Statuary Hall, one of several spots where rioters swarmed a year ago and interrupted the electoral count.

He drew a contrast between the truth of what happened and the false narratives that have sprung up about the Capitol assault, including the continued refusal by many Republicans to affirm that Biden beat then President Trump to win the 2020 election.

“You and I and the whole world saw with our own eyes,” Mr Biden said.

He asked those listening to close their eyes and recall what they saw that day, as he described the harrowing, violent scene, the mob attacking police, threatening the House speaker, erecting gallows threatening to hang the vice president — all while then-President Trump sat at the White House watching it on TV.

 (Leah Millis/Reuters)
(Leah Millis/Reuters)

“Here is the God’s truth about January. 6, 2021,” Biden said. ”They were looking to subvert the Constitution.”

“We must be absolutely clear about what is true and what is a lie. Here’s the truth,” he said.

“The former president of the United States of America has spread a web of lies about the 2020 election.”

From his resort home in Florida, Mr Trump watched Mr Biden’s speech and released an angry statement accusing Mr Biden of “destroying our nation”.

He “used my name today to try to further divide America”, Trump said before slamming the speech as “political theatre”

Trump laid out a series of grievances with his successor’s policies.

He also delved into false claims about the 2020 election.

“The complicit media just calls it the Big Lie, when in actuality the Big Lie was the election itself”, the former president said.

A series of remembrance events during the day will be widely attended by Democrats, in person and virtually, but almost every Republican on Capitol Hill will be absent.

The division is a stark reminder of the rupture between the two parties, worsening since hundreds of Trump’s supporters violently pushed past police, used their fists and flagpoles to break through the windows of the Capitol and interrupted the certification of Mr Biden’s victory.

While congressional Republicans almost universally condemned the attack in the days afterward, most have stayed loyal to the former president.

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