How did you spend January 6, 2021? Were you glued to your phone, watching in slack-jawed horror? Hitting refresh on news sites every five seconds? Maybe you were texting the White House, begging that the president of the United States stop the violence? Or perhaps you were hiding in a secure location as rioters chanted for your death? For his part, the one person who could have done something to stop one of the worst days in U.S. history conspicuously chose not to. We speak, of course, of Donald Trump, who we know from various accounts watched the insurrection he incited unfold on TV, refusing all entreaties, including from his children, to take action, waiting until hours after the attempted coup began to tell the rioters to “go home“ but also “You’re very special” and “we love you” and “These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long.”
And just in case someone from Team Trump tries to claim at some point in the future that the then president didn’t like what he saw on the TV, or that he was deeply concerned for the safety of the lawmakers and Capitol staff inside the building, here’s this:
That‘s former White House press secretary and former chief of staff to the first lady Stephanie Grisham making it clear to CNN that not only was Trump not disturbed by a riot that would result in the death of five people and democracy hanging on by a thread, but that he absolutely loved what he saw, so much so that he felt the need to watch it again, like the deeply disturbed individual he is. The Trumps will no doubt claim Grisham’s recollections are the “fake news” of a disgruntled employee (who they employed for more than four years) but, inconveniently for them, it trucks with those of Senator Ben Sasse, who said in an interview on January 8, 2021, that senior White House officials had told him that as the insurrection unfolded, “Trump was walking around the White House confused about why other people on his team weren’t as excited as he was, as you had rioters pushing against Capitol police, trying to get into the building. That was happening. He was delighted.”
All of which makes Joe Biden’s comments on the anniversary of that horrible day more than fair, if not harsh enough. “The former president of the United States of America has created and spread a web of lies about the 2020 election,” Biden said from the chamber near the House floor that the insurrectionists passed through on January 6. “He’s done so because he values power over principle, because he sees his own interests as more important than his country’s interests and America’s interests, and because his bruised ego matters more to him than our democracy or our Constitution.” Declining to mention Trump by name, Biden reminded the country that “Even before the first ballot was cast, the former president was preemptively sowing doubt about the election results. He built his lie over months. It wasn’t based on any facts. He was just looking for an excuse—a pretext—to cover for the truth.” Twisting the knife, Biden added: “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.” Referencing the absurd claim by Trump and his supporters that the mob who attacked the Capitol represents “the nation’s true patriots,” Biden asked: “Is that what you thought when you looked at the mob ransacking the Capitol, destroying property, literally defecating in the hallways, rifling through desks of senators and representatives, hunting down members of Congress? Patriots? Not in my view.… Those who stormed this Capitol and those who instigated and incited and those who called on them to do so held a dagger at the throat of America—at American democracy. They didn’t come here out of patriotism or principle. They came here in rage—not in service of America, but rather in service of one man.”
A man who, apparently, was cheering them on from the sidelines.
Meanwhile, in Trump‘s America
GOP lawmakers who helped spread the lie the election was stolen regret nothing:
While 57 January 6 rioters are running for office