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At the Capitol on Jan. 6, a Day of Remembrance and Division

Katie Rogers

Jan. 6, 2022, 6:34 p.m. ET

Jan. 6, 2022, 6:34 p.m. ETImagePresident Joe Biden on Thursday in National Statuary Hall inside the Capitol.President Joe Biden on Thursday in National Statuary Hall inside the Capitol.Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

WASHINGTON — This anniversary of Jan. 6 marked a turning level for President Biden, who for a lot of his first 12 months in workplace averted direct confrontation together with his predecessor, Donald J. Trump.


On Thursday, Mr. Biden took deliberate goal at Mr. Trump, assailing him for watching tv as the assaults unfolded, spreading a lie that the 2020 election was rigged, and holding “a dagger at the throat of America” when he inspired his supporters to assault the United States Capitol.

But Mr. Biden held on to 1 vestige from the previous 12 months: He nonetheless refused to name Mr. Trump by identify.

Here are 4 takeaways from the day.

Biden takes a new, confrontational strategy to Trump.

As president-elect in November 2020, Mr. Biden and his employees proceeded with the transition course of by treating Mr. Trump’s makes an attempt to reverse the election as little greater than histrionics.


The calculation made again then by Mr. Biden and his advisers was that America was merely prepared to maneuver on, however on Thursday, the president was extra prepared than standard to handle Mr. Trump’s claims, calling him a loser in the course of.

“He’s not just a former president. He’s a defeated former president — defeated by a margin of over 7 million of your votes in a full and free and fair election,” Mr. Biden mentioned. “There is simply zero proof the election results were inaccurate.”

His remarks set him down a extra confrontational path with Mr. Trump, who holds a agency grip on his social gathering and exhibits no signal of backing down from persevering with to perpetrate a false narrative about the 2020 election. It is a improvement Mr. Biden spent his first 12 months in workplace avoiding, however one which he appeared to embrace as a matter of necessity on Thursday.

Biden rejects working with Republicans who assist ‘the rule of a single man.’

On his Inauguration Day slightly below a 12 months in the past, Mr. Biden promised to be “a president for all Americans. I will fight as hard for those who did not support me as for those who did.” On Thursday, he appeared not as the peacemaker president however as a chief who had a warning for Americans who attacked the Capitol in service of Mr. Trump.


“I did not seek this fight brought to this Capitol one year ago today, but I will not shrink from it either,” Mr. Biden mentioned. “I will stand in this breach. I will defend this nation. And I will allow no one to place a dagger at the throat of our democracy.”

Mr. Biden additionally reserved some of his ire for elected officers. For a chief who got here into workplace talking poetically about the artwork of bipartisanship — “politics is the art of the possible,” he mentioned early on — and about the have to heal a fractured nation, Mr. Biden recommended that he was solely thinking about working with Republicans who haven’t tied their political fortunes to the falsehoods unfold by Mr. Trump.

“While some courageous men and women in the Republican Party are standing against it, trying to uphold the principles of that party, too many others are transforming that party into something else,” Mr. Biden mentioned. “But whatever my other disagreements are with Republicans who support the rule of law and not the rule of a single man, I will always seek to work together with them to find shared solutions where possible.”

Trump — and Trumpism — will not be going away.

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, middle left, and Representative Matt Gaetz, middle proper, throughout a information convention in Washington on Thursday.Credit…Jason Andrew for The New York Times

The president’s remarks offered a stark selection: “Are we going to be a nation that lives not by the light of the truth but in the shadow of lies?” In corners of the web ruled by Mr. Trump and his supporters, the reply appeared clear.

On a podcast hosted by Stephen Ok. Bannon, a former Trump aide who was indicted in November for failing to adjust to congressional investigators, Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida and Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia deflected blame for the assault and recommended it was half of a authorities conspiracy.

In his personal cascade of statements, Mr. Trump confirmed no signal that he was going to shrink from a combat. He assailed Mr. Biden for his dealing with of the coronavirus pandemic, the troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, and even the means he delivered his Thursday remarks.

“He acts like he’s aggrieved,” Mr. Trump mentioned in a single of a number of statements, “but we’re the ones who were aggrieved, and America is suffering because of it.”

The Republican Party stays very a lot Mr. Trump’s, his lies about a stolen election a litmus check that he’s looking for to impose on the 2022 primaries with the candidates he backs. He is the social gathering’s most coveted endorser, its main fund-raiser and the early front-runner in polling for the 2024 presidential nomination.

Mr. Trump has a rally scheduled in Arizona subsequent week.

Republicans largely tried to remain out of the highlight.

Mr. Biden’s forceful condemnation of Mr. Trump was echoed by Democrats throughout the Capitol. Republicans had been largely absent.

Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, accompanied by her father, seemed to be the solely elected Republican amongst dozens of lawmakers who gathered on the House flooring on Thursday afternoon. Many Senate Republicans had been out of city for the funeral of a former colleague.

Republicans weren’t completely silent. While calling final Jan. 6 “a dark day,” Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the minority chief, mentioned in a assertion that it has “been stunning to see some Washington Democrats try to exploit this anniversary to advance partisan policy goals that long predated” the chaos at the capitol, a probably reference to a Democrat-led push for voting rights laws.

Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who condemned the occasions of the day after they occurred solely to reverse course quickly after, accused Democrats of politicizing the anniversary: “Their brazen attempts to use Jan. 6 to support radical election reform and changing the rules of the Senate to accomplish this goal will not succeed,” Mr. Graham mentioned.

But there have been some voices amongst unelected Republicans calling for one thing of a reckoning over the social gathering’s assist for Mr. Trump.

Karl Rove, the strategist who helped George W. Bush win the presidency twice, used his Wall Street Journal opinion column to rebuke “those Republicans who for a year have excused the actions of the rioters who stormed the Capitol, disrupted Congress as it received the Electoral College’s results and violently attempted to overturn the election.”

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