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Biden blames Trump for ‘domestic terrorists’ who stormed US Capitol

Lamenting ‘one of the darkest days in the history’ of America, president-elect says incumbent ‘unleashed an all-out assault on our institutions of our democracy’

US President-elect Joe Biden speaks at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Delaware on January 7, 2021. He called the US Capitol protests one of the 'darkest days' in US history. (JIM WATSON / AFP)
US President-elect Joe Biden speaks at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Delaware on January 7, 2021. He called the US Capitol protests one of the 'darkest days' in US history. (JIM WATSON / AFP)

US President-elect Joe Biden on Thursday denounced the rioters who stormed the US Capitol as “domestic terrorists” and blamed US President Donald Trump for the violence that has shaken the nation’s capital and beyond.

The protest by Trump supporters that breached the security of Congress on Wednesday was “not dissent, was not disorder, was not protest. It was chaos.”

Those who massed on Capitol Hill intending to disrupt a joint session of Congress that was certifying Biden’s election victory over Trump “weren’t protesters. Don’t dare call them protesters. They were a riotous mob — insurrectionists, domestic terrorists. It’s that basic,” Biden said.

In solemn tones, Biden said the actions Trump has taken to subvert the nation’s democratic institutions throughout his presidency led directly to the mayhem in Washington.

“In the past four years, we’ve had a president who’s made his contempt for our democracy, our constitution, the rule of law clear in everything he has done,” Biden said. “He unleashed an all-out assault on our institutions of our democracy from the outset. And yesterday was the culmination of that unrelenting attack.”

Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier, January 6, 2021, at the US Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

He also called storming of the Capitol “one of the darkest days in the history of our nation” and accused US authorities of treating pro-Trump protesters more leniently than anti-racism demonstrators who were forcibly dispersed by police in Washington last year.

“No one can tell me that if it had been a group of Black Lives Matter protesting yesterday… they wouldn’t have been treated very, very differently than the mob of thugs that stormed the Capitol,” Biden said.

“We all know that’s true, and it is unacceptable.”

The mob of hundreds of Trump backers broke into the Capitol and roamed the halls looking for lawmakers, who were forced to halt their deliberations and evacuate to safety. The violent protesters were egged on by Trump himself, who has falsely contended that he lost the election due to voter fraud.

Trump’s claims have been repeatedly dismissed in the courts, including the Supreme Court, and by state election officials from both parties, and even some in his own administration. But the president has gone to greater and greater lengths to try to overturn the results, culminating this week in efforts by a small group of Republican senators and larger numbers in the House to objects to the congressional certification of the results on Wednesday and the scene of violence at the Capitol. After the disruption, Congress returned to work late Wednesday and affirmed Biden’s victory early Thursday.

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