President Joe Biden meets with his Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force and private sector CEOs at the White House in Washington, D.C., December 22, 2021. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

President Biden laid blame for the January 6 Capitol riot squarely at the feet of Donald Trump in his anniversary speech in the Capitol rotunda Thursday, accusing the former president of embracing violence because he couldn’t accept the reality of his defeat.

“He has done what no president in American history, the history of this country, has ever, ever done: he refused to accept the results of an election and the will of the American people,” Biden said. While Biden declined to refer to Trump by name, the speech marked his most direct criticism of the former president.

Biden slammed Trump, “who had just rallied the mob to attack,” for “sitting in the private dining room off the Oval Office in the White House watching it all on television, and doing nothing for hours as police were assaulted, lives at risk, and the nation’s Capitol under siege.”

The president criticized his predecessor for claiming that the 2020 election was “stolen,” and for touting false claims of election fraud.

“The former president of the United States has created and spread a web of lies about the 2020 election,” Biden said. “He’s done so because he values power over principle. Because his bruised ego matters more to him than our democracy or Constitution.”

Moreover, Trump and allies “have never been able to explain how they accept as accurate the other election results that took place on November 3—the elections for governor, the United States senate, the House of Representatives,” Biden noted. “Somehow those results were accurate on the same ballot, but the presidential race was flawed.”

In response to Biden’s speech, Trump again claimed the 2020 election was “rigged.”

“Biden is working hard to try and deflect the incompetent job he is doing, and has done, on the horrible Afghanistan withdrawal (surrender), the Borders, COVID, Inflation, loss of Energy Independence, and much, much more,” Trump said in a statement. “Everything he touches turns to failure. That’s what you get when you have a rigged Election.”

Trump and supporters claimed to have found irregularities in elections in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona, Wisconsin, and elsewhere, in the weeks prior to the Capitol riot. While Trump allies brought various lawsuits against elections in those states, none were found to have merit.

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