WASHINGTON – U.S. President Joe Biden will say his predecessor, Donald Trump, had “singular responsibility” for the Jan. 6 attacks during a speech on Thursday marking the first anniversary of the deadly event, White House spokesperson Jen Psaki said on Wednesday.
Biden and his top aides have been reluctant to talk directly about Trump since he took office last January, even as the Republican former president continued to spread lies about his election loss.
On Thursday, though, Biden will “lay out the significance of what happened in the Capitol and the singular responsibility President Trump has for the chaos and carnage that we saw and he will forcibly push back on the lies spread by the former president in an attempt to mislead the American people and his own supporters as well as distract from his role in what happened,” Psaki said.
Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, both Democrats, will speak on Thursday morning at the U.S. Capitol, one year after a mob loyal to Trump raided the complex in a failed attempt to stop the counting of Electoral College votes that officially delivered Biden’s election victory.
Biden has been “clear eyed about the threat the former president represents to our democracy and how the former president constantly works to constantly undermine basic American values and rule of law,” Psaki said.
She added that the president sees the deadly attacks as a “tragic culmination of what those four years under President Trump did to our country.”
Since that day, the “silence and complacency” of many members of the Republican Party, who have backed or failed to refute Trump’s election lies “has stuck with him as well,” she said.
A spokesman for Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment about Psaki’s statements.
Four people died on the day of the riot, and one Capitol police officer died the day after defending Congress. Dozens of police were injured during the multi-hour onslaught by Trump supporters, and four officers have since taken their own lives.