Biden Slams Trump, Rioters in 1/6 Speech: 'You Can't Love Your Country Only When You Win'

While delivering remarks on the one-year anniversary of the U.S. Capitol riot Thursday, President Joe Biden repeatedly went after Donald Trump for his role in the attack.

"Here's the truth: a former president of the United States of America has created and spread a web of lies about the 2020 election," Biden said while standing in Statuary Hall at the Capitol. "He's done so because he values power over principle, because he sees his own interest as more important than his country's interest, than America's interest, because his bruised ego matters more to him than our democracy or our Constitution. He can't accept he lost."

Biden specifically took aim at the former president and his supporters who referred to those gathered at the Capitol a year ago to disrupt the congressional certification of the election results as "patriots."

"Is that what you thought?" Biden asked. "You looked at the mob ransacking the Capitol, destroying property, literally defecating in the hallways, rifling through the desks of senators and representatives, hunting down members of Congress—patriots? Not in my view."

Biden said he believed the "true patriots" were the voters who peacefully cast their ballot, the election workers, and the law enforcement officers who worked to protect the Capitol.

"You can't love your country only when you win," said the president. "You can't obey the law only when it's convenient. You can't be patriotic when you embrace and enabled lies."

Biden Goes After Trump, Rioters in Speech
President Joe Biden speaks at the US Capitol on January 6, 2022, to mark the anniversary of the attack on the Capitol in Washington, D.C. Biden went after his predecessor Donald Trump for attempting to block the democratic transfer of power on January 6, 2021. Greg Nash/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Four people died during the riot. U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick died the following day of natural causes after contending with rioters outside the Capitol and being sprayed with a chemical substance. Dozens of other law enforcement officers were injured in the incident.

Roughly 700 people now face charges due to their alleged participation in the attack. The FBI has asked the public for help identifying hundreds of additional suspects.

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland on Wednesday said the Department of Justice remains committed at "any level" to holding perpetrators accountable. Approximately 40 defendants have been charged with conspiracy to obstruct a congressional proceeding or obstruct law enforcement, Garland noted, and 17 more people are scheduled to go to trial in the upcoming months for their role in felony conspiracies.

"The actions we have taken thus far will not be our last," Garland said, noting that the ongoing probe is one the largest and most complex in the Department of Justice's history.

As the Justice Department continues to prosecute participants, a House panel is also investigating the events leading up to January 6 and how such a scenario could be prevented in the future. The select committee has subpoenaed dozens of people, many of whom are former aides of Trump.

A recent Washington Post poll also found most of the public still largely blaming Trump for what happened on that day. Sixty percent of Americans said the former president bears either a good amount or a great deal of responsibility for the attack.

Trump, who has continued to spread false claims about the 2020 election, originally planned to deliver remarks Thursday from his resort in Florida. But he canceled the event earlier this week amid Republican criticism.

The president and vice president's speech kicks off a day of events for Democrats marking the one-year anniversary of the riot. At noon, lawmakers will hold a moment of silence on the House floor before going on to hold a discussion with historians and hear testimonies from those at the Capitol that day.