WASHINGTON, Jan 6 (Reuters) – President Joe Biden will urge Americans to reject lies and live by the “light of truth” in remarks on Thursday to commemorate the first anniversary of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump.
Biden, a Democrat, defeated Republican Trump in the 2020 election, but the former president has falsely claimed the vote was marred by fraud, and his speech two weeks before Biden’s inauguration urging supporters to fight fueled a deadly riot at the Capitol, a symbol of U.S. democracy.
Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are slated to speak at the Capitol on Thursday and the White House said Biden would assign “singular responsibility” to Trump for the violence a year ago.
Four people died on the day of the riot, and one Capitol police officer died the day after.
“And so at this moment we must decide what kind of nation we are going to be. Are we going to be a nation that accepts political violence as a norm? Are we going to be a nation where we allow partisan election officials to overturn the legally expressed will of the people?” Biden will say, according to excerpts of his remarks released by the White House.
“Are we going to be a nation that lives not by the light of the truth but in the shadow of lies? We cannot allow ourselves to be that kind of nation. The way forward is to recognize the truth and to live by it,” he will say.
Biden and his advisers have shied away from talking directly about Trump during the Democrat’s first year in office, preferring to move forward with their own agenda.
But the former president has continued to spread falsehoods about his loss and may decide to run for president again in the 2024 election.