Biden Rips Trump Over Lack of 'Courage' in Response to January 6 Attack

President Joe Biden is accusing former President Donald Trump of cowardice for not taking action as a violent mob of his supporters subjected police to "medieval hell for three hours" during the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Biden made the remarks Monday in a speech to a meeting of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives. Previously, Biden has rarely addressed the attack of January 6, 2021, and the actions of his predecessor that day. The stinging remarks arrived days after a hearing by the House committee investigating the siege, in which the panel shared its conclusion that Trump had watched television as police were left to defend the Capitol from the mob.

"Every day we rely on law enforcement to save lives," said Biden, who has COVID-19 and gave the speech remotely to the group meeting in Orlando, Florida. "Then, on January 6, we relied on law enforcement to save our democracy."

Joe Biden Criticizing Trump in Speech
President Joe Biden said his predecessor, ex-President Donald Trump, lacked courage for not taking action as law enforcement was attacked during the insurrection of January 6, 2021. Above, a photo illustration from July 25, 2022, from a cell phone in Washington, D.C., shows a tweet from Biden slamming Trump. SAMUEL CORUM/Getty Images

Saying officers were "speared, sprayed, stomped on, brutalized," Biden described the violence law enforcement faced as a mob breached the Capitol as Congress was certifying the 2020 presidential election.

Biden also noted how "lives were lost." A bipartisan Senate report released last year found that three officers died in connection to the attack. At least four more Capitol police officers have committed suicide since the attack.

"The police were heroes that day," Biden said in the speech. "Donald Trump lacked the courage to act."

Trump spokeswoman Liz Harrington responded with an email to Newsweek restating Republican criticism that Biden and other Democrats allowed lawlessness and rioting during the summer of 2020 that endangered law enforcement.

"President Trump has the back of law enforcement, and always will," said Harrington.

She added that Trump asked for 20,000 National Guard service members for January 6, but was refused by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer. PolitiFact has debunked the claim that Trump requested the National Guard.

The House January 6 committee focused its eighth nationally broadcast hearing last week on how Trump and White House aides responded as the attack unfolded.

One of the most glaring conclusions presented by the committee was that Trump settled into a White House dining room where he watched Fox News as the assault on the Capitol took place. Drawing on documents and witness testimony, the committee found that Trump didn't make any calls to law enforcement agencies to stop the attack.

Instead of using his bully pulpit to defuse the chaos, Trump instead took to Twitter to blame then-Vice President Mike Pence for not rejecting Electoral College votes for Biden while presiding a joint session of Congress.

Trump has dismissed the committee as politically motivated, criticized the witnesses and denied many allegations against him.

"For three hours, the defeated former president of the United States watched it all happen as he sat in the comfort of the private dining room next to the Oval Office," said Biden in his speech. "While he was doing that, brave law enforcement officers were subject to the medieval hell for three hours, dripping in blood, surrounded by carnage."

Biden called on law enforcement to never forget Trump's reaction on January 6, saying "you can't be pro-insurrection and pro-cop. You can't be pro-insurrection and pro-democracy."