Biden calls Capitol siege an ‘assault on our democracy’01/07/2021
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Joe Biden delivered a full-throated condemnation of the US Capitol siege by supporters of President Trump, calling it “an assault on our democracy” carried out by “domestic terrorists.”
Speaking in Wilmington, Del., on Thursday to unveil his Justice Department nominees, Biden accused Trump of “trying to use a mob to silence the voices of nearly 160 million Americans” who voted in the November presidential election.
“What we witnessed yesterday was not dissent. It was not disorder. It was not protest,” Biden said, calling the melee “one of the darkest days in our nation’s history.”
“They weren’t protesters. Don’t dare call them protesters. They were a riotous mob, insurrectionists, domestic terrorists,” he said.
“We wish we could say we couldn’t see it coming. That isn’t true. We could see it coming. The past four years we’ve had a president who’s made his contempt for our democracy, our Constitution, the rule of law, clear in everything he has done,” Biden said.
Thousands of Trump supporters unhappy with the election result stormed the US Capitol on Wednesday as lawmakers were gathered for a joint session of Congress to certify Biden’s Electoral College win.
The mob overpowered police and hijacked the building, raiding lawmakers’ offices and attempting to gain access to the floors of the Senate and House of Representatives where Vice President Mike Pence and lawmakers were sheltering.
The violent episode led to a tense armed standoff outside the House and the evacuation of lawmakers for several hours, after which they returned to certify Biden’s win in the early hours of Thursday morning.
One woman died after being shot by police while dozens of others were injured. Multiple explosive devices were also recovered across downtown Washington.
Thousands of the president’s supporters flocked to Washington on Wednesday to hear Trump speak at a rally outside the White House, where he delivered a fiery speech in which he claimed the election had been stolen from him.
“We will never concede,” Trump told the cheering crowd. “You don’t concede when there’s theft.”
The incoming commander-in-chief became visibly angry, thumping the podium as he said the varying police response to yesterday’s riot and Black Lives Matter protests in the summer were unacceptable.
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