President Joe Biden on Thursday blamed former President Donald Trump for the Capitol riot on the one-year anniversary of the attack without mentioning his predecessor’s name, CNN reports.
Biden called out Trump for stoking blatant lies about the election leading up to the siege.
"For the first time in our history, a President had not just lost an election. He tried to prevent the peaceful transfer of power as a violent mob reached the Capitol," Biden said. "But they failed. They failed. And on this day of remembrance, we must make sure that such an attack never, never happens again."
"His bruised ego matters more to him than our democracy or our Constitution, he can't accept he lost,” he added.
Biden never said Trump’s name but referred to the “former president” more than a dozen times.
"A former President of the United States of America has created and spread a web of lies about the 2020 election. He's done so because he values power over principle, because he sees his own interest as more important than his country's interest and America's interest,” he said.
“Battle for the soul of America”:
Biden said he ran against Trump because “we are in a battle for the soul of America."
Biden warned that democracy and the “promise of America” is at risk, urging the public to "stand for the rule of law, to preserve the flame of democracy."
Biden specifically called out voting restrictions pushed by Republican state lawmakers around the country, which the president said will "suppress your vote and subvert our elections."
"It's wrong. It's undemocratic. And frankly it's un-American," Biden said.
Biden again called on Congress to pass voting rights legislation ahead of the next election.
"Now let's step up, write the next chapter in American history, for January 6 marks not the end of democracy, but the beginning of a renaissance of liberty and fair play," Biden said.
Trump lashes out:
Trump, who abruptly canceled his scheduled speech at Mar-a-Lago earlier this week, alleged that Biden “used my name today to further divide America” after the speech even though Biden never said his name.
"This political theater is all just a distraction for the fact Biden has completely and totally failed,” Trump said in a written statement. "Our Country no longer has Borders, has totally and completely lost control of Covid (record numbers!), is no longer Energy Independent, Inflation is rampant, our Military is in chaos, and our exit, or surrender, from Afghanistan was perhaps the most embarrassing day in the long and distinguished history of the United States—and so much more.”
Trump argued that Democrats “want to own this day” to “stoke fears and divide America.”