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Biden tears into Trump on anniversary of ‘insurrection’

WASHINGTON (AFP) – United States (US) President Joe Biden on Thursday savaged Donald Trump’s “lies” and attempt to overturn the 2020 election, vowing on the first anniversary of the January 6 Capitol riot that he would let no one put a “dagger at the throat of democracy”.

After largely ignoring Trump for a year, Biden took off the gloves, describing the Republican as a cheat whose ego wouldn’t let him accept defeat and whose supporters almost shattered US democracy when they stormed Congress to prevent certification of the election.

It was a searing speech, signaling Biden’s decision to abandon his previously cautious approach – and it immediately prompted an equally bitter Republican backlash.

“This was an armed insurrection,” Biden declared from Statuary Hall inside the Capitol, where a year ago thousands of people brandishing Trump flags trampled over police to invade the chamber, forcing lawmakers to flee for their lives.

“For the first time in our history, a president not just lost an election. He tried to prevent the peaceful transfer of power,” Biden said.

“I will allow no one to place a dagger at the throat of democracy.”

Biden’s voice filled with anger as he laid out the dangers facing a country that has long styled itself as leader of the free world.

“Are we going to be a nation that accepts political violence as a norm?” he asked.

Although Biden deliberately did not mention Trump’s name, he made clear whom he was talking about in a blistering portrait of a man he said scorned democracy because he couldn’t accept defeat.

“The former president of the United States of America has created and spread a web of lies about the 2020 election,” Biden said. “He values power over principle.”

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