President Biden on Monday critiqued former President Donald Trump in a speech to black police officers for not telling a mob of his supporters to go home for more than three hours during last year’s Capitol riot.
Biden, who is recovering from COVID-19, delivered his remarks virtually from the White House residence and used unusually strong language to bash Trump, who on Tuesday will return to DC for the first time since leaving office.
“Every day we rely on law enforcement to save lives. And then on Jan. 6, we relied on law enforcement to save our democracy,” Biden said.
“We saw what happened: the Capitol Police, the DC Metropolitan Police, other law enforcement agencies were attacked and assaulted before our very eyes — speared, sprayed, stomped on, brutalized. And lives were lost. And for three hours, the defeated former president of the United States watched it all happen as he sat in the comfort of the private dining room next to the Oval Office,” Biden said.
“While he was doing that, brave law enforcement officers were subject to the medieval hell for three hours — dripping in blood, surrounded by carnage, face to face with a crazed mob that believed the lies under the defeated president.”
“The police were heroes that day. Donald Trump lacked the courage to act,” Biden went on in his address to the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives.
“And the brave women and men in blue all across this nation should never forget that. You can’t be pro-insurrection and pro-cop. You can’t be pro-insurrection and pro-democracy. You can’t be pro-insurrection and pro-American.”
In a subsequent tweet from Biden’s official @POTUS handle, he wrote, “Brave women and men in uniform across America should never forget that the defeated former president of the United States watched January 6th happen and didn’t have the spine to act.”
Trump spokeswoman Liz Harrington returned fire on Biden and said that the ex-president will focus on “law and order” when he delivers a speech Tuesday at the America First Agenda Summit in DC.
“Joe Biden sat in his basement and let his Party fund and encourage rioters to burn cities to the ground throughout 2020, injuring thousands of cops in the process, while Democrats smeared them as ‘storm troopers,’ and worse,” Harrington said.
“The carnage continues in Democrat-run cities and at the lawless border. President Trump has the back of law enforcement, and always will.”
Biden slammed his predecessor following last week’s House select committee hearing that focused on Trump’s inaction during the violence.
Trump is teasing a possible 2024 rematch against Biden, whose approval rating has gone as low as 30% in recent polls amid the worst inflation since 1981.
Ahead of the Capitol riot, Trump addressed thousands of supporters near the White House and urged them to march on the Capitol to encourage Republican members of Congress and then-Vice President Mike Pence to reject swing-state electors for Biden.
His rally near the White House ended at 1:10 p.m., but Trump didn’t release a video telling supporters “you have to go home now” until 4:17 p.m.
Trump supporter Ashli Babbitt, 36, was fatally shot by a police officer during the mayhem and three other Trump supporters died of medical emergencies. US Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, 42, himself a Trump supporter, died of a stroke after fighting off the rioters. Four cops and at least three accused rioters later died by suicide.
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