President Joe Biden has heavily criticised former President Donald Trump on the first anniversary of the attack on the US Capitol.
In a televised speech Mr Biden accused his predecessor of spreading “a web of lies” that led to the mob’s assault.
Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building on 6 January 2021 as Congress gathered to certify Mr Biden’s presidential election victory.
Live footage of US politicians cowering from the mob shocked the world.
Mr Trump had urged protesters at a rally outside the White House shortly beforehand to “peacefully” march on Congress, but he also encouraged them to “fight” and stirred up the crowd with unsubstantiated claims of mass voter fraud in the election he had just lost.
Shortly after Mr Biden’s speech on Thursday Mr Trump released an angry statement hitting out at his successor. In it, he accused Mr Biden of “failure” and repeated false claims about the election.
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Democrat politicians, who have a majority in the US Congress, planned a number of events to mark the one-year anniversary of the attack.
A House committee is conducting an inquiry, and so far investigators have arrested 725 suspects in connection with the riot.
‘A dagger at the throat of US democracy’
Mr Biden condemned the attackers and Mr Trump in his speech on Thursday, using some of his strongest language yet about both the Capitol riots and his predecessor.
“Those who stormed this Capitol and those who instigated this incidence, held a dagger at the throat of America and American democracy”, Mr Biden said in Statuary Hall, a section of the Capitol complex that was breached by rioters.
“They came here in rage, not in the service of America, but rather, in the service of one man.
“The former president of the United States of America has created and spread a web of lies about the 2020 election… His bruised ego matters more to him than our democracy or our constitution”.
The US leader also warned that the threats to American democracy “have not abated.”
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