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President Joe Biden claimed in a prerecorded speech on Monday that former President Donald Trump “lacked the courage” to stop the rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6th, 2021.
“The police were heroes that day. Donald Trump lacked the courage to act,” the president said in the pre-taped video that aired at the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives’ annual conference.
In his remarks, Biden accused Trump of sitting “in the comfort of the private dining room next to the Oval Office” as his supporters and others breached Congress, resulting in the fatal shooting of an Air Force veteran.
The president also noted law enforcement officers and Capitol Police endured “medieval hell for three hours.”
“Lives were lost. And for three hours, the defeated former president of the United States watched it all happen as he sat in the comfort of the private dining room next to the Oval Office,” said Biden, who is in quarantine after he tested positive for COVID-19 last week.
“You saw what happened,” the president continued. “The Capitol police, the D.C Metropolitan police, other law enforcement agencies were attacked and assaulted before our very eyes.”
The officers were “speared, sprayed, stomped on, brutalized” and “dripping in blood, surrounded by carnage, face-to-face with a crazed mob that believed the lies of the defeated president,” he said.
“Every day we rely on law enforcement to save lives. Then, on Jan. 6, we relied on law enforcement to save our democracy,” Biden added.
In the speech, Biden also called Trump “pro-insurrection” and said he was not “pro-democracy,” “pro-cop” or “pro-American.”
The president’s remarks come as a Democratic-controlled Select Investigative Committee continues to hold hearings on the Jan. 6 attack, often seeking links between the rioters and Trump.
While Democrats continue to publicly air the hearings critical of the former president, Trump is holding rallies across the country as speculation swirls that he may make another bid for the White House.
During a campaign rally in Prescott Valley, Arizona, Trump called on Americans to be “unified” against “the tyrants” in Washington.
“We will never give in, we will never yield,” he said in his speech. “We are just four months away from the most important election in America’s history. If we do not get this done then it is going to be tragic.”
Trump has not yet officially said if he intends to run for president in 2024.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.