While it should come as no surprise that President Joe Biden often seeks to blame things that are bad on his predecessor, former President Donald Trump, it is still at times a bit shocking to see how far Biden will stretch to dodge accountability and pin blame on Trump.
A recent example of this occurred Wednesday when Biden appeared to blame Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine last week on Trump’s alleged incitement of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot in 2021, the New York Post reported.
Making the matter even more shocking and confusing is that in making that incredible stretch to blame Trump, Biden conveniently ignored certain facts that undermined his narrative while falsely misstating, if not openly lying about, other facts about that incident in the aftermath of the disputed 2020 election.
From the Jan. 6 Capitol riot to Russian troops in Ukraine
President Biden’s seemingly preposterous attempt to link the Russian invasion of Ukraine with the Jan. 6 Capitol riot came near the end of what was supposed to be a speech about infrastructure and his domestic “Build Back Better” agenda in Wisconsin on Wednesday.
After his remarks, and without any appreciable sort of segue, Biden claimed, “Vladimir Putin was counting on being able to split up the United States.”
“Look, how would you feel if you saw crowds storm and break down the doors of the British Parliament, kill five cops, injure 145 — or the German Bundestag or the Italian Parliament? I think you’d wonder,” he continued. “Well, that’s what the rest of the world saw. It’s not who we are. And now, we’re proving, under pressure, that we are not that country. We’re united.”
A moment later he added of Putin, “He did what he did because he thought he could split NATO, split Europe, and split the United States. We’re going to demonstrate to the whole world no one can split this country.”
The Post noted at the time how out of place and unconnected Biden’s abrupt invocation of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot was and surmised that it was likely in response to the Republican narrative that Trump’s perceived strength had forestalled Putin’s aggression in Ukraine while Biden’s perceived weakness had invited it.
That may be the case, and while Biden has every right to put forward whatever sort of counter-narrative he would like to portray himself well and denigrate his predecessor, playing fast and loose with the facts isn’t a good look and only serves to undermine his own case.
Fact-checking Biden’s claims
The New York Post’s editorial board took President Biden to task with a “fact check” the following day over his “preposterous” linkage of Putin’s Ukraine invasion with Trump and the Capitol riot.
First of all, it was duly noted that Putin’s aggressive land grabs in Ukraine began in 2014 when Biden served as vice president to then-President Barack Obama. And, as Republicans have aptly noted, that aggression was then apparently placed on hold for the entirety of Trump’s tenure in office.
Secondly, the Post editorial board rightly called out Biden for his false claim that “five cops” had been killed by the Capitol rioters, which simply isn’t true. One officer died of “natural causes” the day after the riot, while four others eventually committed suicide several weeks and months after the riot had occurred.