President Joe Biden expects to target former President Donald Trump during his speech on Capitol Hill Thursday, marking the first anniversary of the January 6th protests of the 2020 election.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki previewed the speech for reporters at the White House on Wednesday, noting that Biden believed that Trump had “singular responsibility” for the riots on that day and would call him out directly.
“President Biden has been clear-eyed about the threat the former President represents to our democracy and how the former President constantly works to undermine basic American values and rule of law,” she said.
The president’s speech is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. on Capitol Hill.
Despite Biden repeatedly claiming he does not think much about Trump, the former president will be very much on his mind on January 6th.
“The President is going to speak to the truth of what happened, not the lies that some have spread since, and the peril it posed to the rule of law and our system of democratic governance,” she said.
Psaki said Biden believed the January 6th protests were “a tragic culmination” of Trump’s years as president.
“President Biden has, of course, spoken repeatedly about how the former President abused his office, undermined the Constitution, and ignored his oath to the American people in an effort to amass more power for himself and his allies,” Psaki said.
Biden plans to take a political angle in his speech to promote Democrat opposition to the Republican-led effort to pass election security laws across the country.
“He will also speak to the work we still need to do to secure and strengthen our democracy and our institutions to reject the hatred and lies we saw on January 6th and to unite our country,” Psaki continued.
She said Biden would likely target the Republican Party as a whole, condemning them for not confronting Trump with the truth about the 2020 election.
“What is most disappointing to him is that there has been a silence and, at times, a complacency by far too many Republicans who have sat by and defended the Big Lie and perpetuated misinformation to the American public,” she said, referring to Trump’s claim the 2020 election was fraudulent and rigged.
Biden’s speech could serve as the biggest political rematch with Trump since he became president.
Trump will likely run for president in 2024, a decision that Biden has said would only further motivate him to run for reelection.
“Why wouldn’t I run against Donald Trump as the nominee?” he asked in an interview with David Muir in December. “That would increase the prospect of running.”