President Joe Biden said there was “no doubt” that Donald Trump was responsible for sparking a riot at the US Capitol on January 6. “It goes without saying. You saw it all,” he told reporters on Wednesday.
“I am not a rebel,” the former president wrote on his Truth Social the next day. “Crooked Joe Biden is!!!”
He did not elaborate, but it is the latest attempt by the front-runner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination to diffuse or project allegations against him to his accusers.
It's a rhetorical tool he's used for years, and the intended charges have grown more serious as multiple criminal charges and lawsuits have developed that threaten the campaign against him.
While the president, Democratic officials and Democratic supporters are warning against his increasingly fascist rhetoric and promises of a violent retaliatory agenda, Trump has claimed that it is actually Biden who is a “threat to democracy.”
It's a claim that has been spread in his marathon races and on his social media. This is echoed by his allies and supporters. And it comes only after Trump faces criminal charges for his own attempts to sway the results of millions of Americans in the 2020 presidential election and a growing list of lawsuits that threaten to remove him from the 2024 ballot because of it.
President Biden has sought to rally Americans against Trump's threat to democracy and the specter of an authoritarian regime under a second Trump White House, who has vowed to jail political opponents, the “largest deportation operation in American history,” ideological tests on immigrants arriving in the US, and the prosecution of journalists and critics, among other campaign vows made at Mr Trump's rally stages.
Throughout his term, the president has repeatedly warned of the “existential” threat posed by the GOP's anti-democratic agenda and threats to civil liberties from Republican-drafted policies endorsed by his opponent.
As Trump faces criminal charges in Washington and Georgia over his alleged efforts to illegally throw out the result of the 2020 election, which fueled the mob that stormed the US Capitol on January 6, Trump is now accusing Biden of being the real threatening. .
Trump is also vowing to fight a Colorado ruling barring him from the 2024 ballot under the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution, which bars candidates “engaged in rebellion or sedition” from holding public office.
These cross-cases highlighted how Trump has used the court hearings as campaigning, using legal battles to raise millions of dollars for his presidential campaign and deceiving his supporters by telling them that the consequences of his own alleged actions are actually threats against them. . .
“Joe Biden is not the defender of American democracy. Joe Biden is the destroyer of American democracy,” Trump told supporters in Iowa earlier this month.
At a rally in New Hampshire on December 16, he approvingly quoted Vladimir Putin as calling federal prosecutors' investigations into Mr Trump “politically motivated”.
“Joe Biden is a threat to democracy. It's a threat,” Trump added. He said the same the next day at a rally in Reno, Nevada.
His comments reveal that he “fears that Biden's framing of the 2024 election as ‘democracy vs. autocracy' is resonating with voters and making Trump look like a threat to democracy, the rule of law and the American constitution.” according to Jennifer Mercieca, a historian of American political rhetoric and professor at Texas A&M University who wrote in the 2020s Demagogue for President: The Rhetorical Genius of Donald Trump.
“Trump's strategy here is to ‘blame the accuser' … which may have the effect of confusing voters about who the real threat to American democracy is,” he added.
It has been a hallmark of his political career, from telling former Democratic rival Hillary Clinton “you're the puppet” after she accused him of serving as a puppet for Putin, to accusing Democratic officials of trying to “crush free speech” and “censorship”. free speech” while also waging war against a free press.
“They have waged a total war against American democracy,” he said in Iowa this month. “And it's getting more and more extreme and repressive.”
A memo from the Biden campaign first reported by CNN outlines how the president's re-election efforts will focus on a message that underscores Mr. Trump's threat to American democracy.
“The choice for voters next year won't just be between competing philosophies of governance,” according to campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez. “The choice for the American people in November 2024 will be about protecting American democracy and the very individual liberties we enjoy as Americans.”