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Psaki says maybe Trump ‘learned something’ from watching Biden’s January 6 anniversary speech

White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks at a press briefing at the White House in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022.

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

  • Jen Psaki mused on whether Trump “learned something” from Biden’s January 6 anniversary speech.
  • Trump slammed Biden’s speech as “political theater.”
  • “Well, it looks like he saw the speech. I guess that’s good news,” Psaki said of Trump.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Thursday commented on former President Donald Trump’s reaction to President Joe Biden’s speech on the anniversary of the January 6 Capitol riot.

“Well, it looks like he saw the speech. I guess that’s good news. Maybe he learned something about what it looks like to meet the moment in the country,” Psaki told reporters during a press briefing.

“To meet the moment where people are hurting, they are thinking of the pain, all of the people who worked in that Capitol who were there a year ago. Whether they were members of Congress, their staff, janitors or journalists. And to speak to who we can be and call for people’s higher powers to reach that. Maybe he learned something from that. I guess we’ll see,” she continued.

Shortly after Biden’s speech, Trump released a statement calling the president’s remarks “political theater” and “just a distraction for the fact Biden has completely and totally failed.”

Biden spoke from the Capitol on Thursday as he reflected on the violence that erupted in the building a year ago and commemorated the deaths of law enforcement officials.

In his speech, the president criticized Trump, though he did not mention him by name, instead reffing to him as the ” defeated former president.” Biden blamed Trump for the January 6 riot and emphasized his refusal to accept that he lost the 2020 election.

“For the first time in our history, a president had not just lost an election, he tried to prevent a peaceful transition of power as a violent mob reached the Capitol,” Biden said. “But they failed. They failed. And on this day of remembrance, we must make sure that such an attack never, never happens again.”

—The Recount (@therecount) January 6, 2022


NBC News’ Kristen Welker asked Psaki during Thursday’s press briefing about Biden’s decision not to call out Trump by name.

“There’s only one president in the history of this country who fomented an insurrection and which prompted the seizing of our nation’s Capitol,” Psaki said. “I think everybody knew who he was referring to. But as the president said today, this day and the work that we need to do moving forward, is not about one person. It is about the country, reflecting on who we are in this moment, who we want to be moving forward, and what steps we need to take to protect our own democracy.”

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