President Joe Biden suggested the violence of the January 6th riot on Capitol Hill was worse than the Civil War during a speech Thursday at the White House.
“Not even during the Civil War did insurrectionists breach the Capitol of the United States of America, the citadel of our democracy,” Biden began. “Not even then. But on January the 6th, 2021, they did.”
The president hosted a signing ceremony Thursday for a bill awarding Capitol Police officers a Congressional Gold Medal for their response to the January 6th riots, giving Biden an opportunity to excoriate supporters of the former president for the violence.
Biden described the Trump supporters who rioted at the Capitol as “a mob of extremists and terrorists” and disrupted a “sacred ritual” act by Congress to certify his election as president of the United States.
“It wasn’t dissent, it wasn’t debate, it wasn’t democracy,” he said. “It was insurrection. It was riot and mayhem. It was radical and chaotic. It was unconstitutional and maybe most important, it was fundamentally un-American.”
Biden added the riots were an “existential threat” to the United States.
“Our Democracy did survive,” he said. “Truth defeated lies. We did overcome.”
He attributed the eventual successful certification of the election to the law enforcement officers who tried to stop the protesters.
“Thank you, thank you, thank you for protecting our Capitol. Maybe even more importantly, for protecting our Constitution,” Biden said.