WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden decried his predecessor for failing to stop the deadly mob attack on the Capitol last year, saying Monday that ” donald trump lacked the courage to act” as hours of “medieval hell” unfolded.
“Every day, we rely on law enforcement to save lives. Then, on January 6, we relied on law enforcement to save our democracy,” Biden said in a pre-recorded speech at the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives’ annual conference in Orlando, Florida.
Biden, who remains isolated in the family quarters of the White House after test positive for COVID-19 last week, has previously criticized Trump for helping to incite the crowd January 6, 2021, with a “web of lies” about the 2020 presidential election marred by widespread electoral fraud that never happened.
But his comments at the conference were the clearest link Biden has made between Trump and the insurgency in a while. House Committee to Investigate the Attack on the Capitol began holding hearings in June as part of its job to shed light on everything that happened.
“You saw what happened. Capitol Police, DC Metropolitan Police, other law enforcement have been attacked and assaulted before our eyes. Speared, pulverized, stomped on, brutalized,” said Biden, whose voice is still hoarse and deeper than usual as he recovers from the effects of the coronavirus. “Lives have been lost. And for three hours, the defeated former President of the United States watched it all unfold as he sat in the comfort of the private dining room next to the Oval Office.”
He added that while Trump “does this, brave law enforcement officers are subjected to medieval hell for three hours.”
This was referring Cassidy Hutchinson, former White House aide to the Trump administrationtestifying before the House committee on Jan. 6 about Trump’s temper as he sat in his dining room and watched television as his plans to void the election crumbled.
Biden did not specifically mention the work of the committee during the recorded address and has already largely avoided the topic. He said after his opening audition that the work was about allowing ‘no one to put a dagger to our democracy’s throat’, but also noted then that he hadn’t had time to watch the first episode. .
The committee held its last summer hearing last week, which focused on Trump’s failure to help disperse the attackers invading the Capitol – even as his top aides and family members implored him to call for an end to the violence.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre previously suggested that while Biden was able to tune in occasionally to committee work, he hadn’t been able to focus much on the debates because he was focused on his job as president. It’s unclear if Biden has had more time to watch as he recovers from COVID-19.
Trump plans to be in Washington on Tuesday to address the America First Agenda summit, the first time he has returned to the nation’s capital since leaving office. Jean-Pierre did not comment on that speech on Monday, saying, “I don’t know what he just talked about.”
In his pre-recorded comments, Biden noted that law enforcement officers during the insurgency were “dripping in blood, surrounded by carnage, face to face with a crazed crowd who believed the lies of the defeated president.”
“The police were heroes that day. Donald Trump did not have the courage to act,” the president said. “The brave women and men in blue across the country should never forget that. You can’t be pro-insurgency and pro-cop. You can’t be pro-insurgency and pro-democracy. You can’t be pro-insurgency and pro-American.