Trump explains cancelation of January 6 event

The cancelation announcement followed vows by President Joe Biden to focus on Donald Trump and his allies in an anniversary speech

Former President Donald Trump said he has canceled a planned January 6 speech after numerous Republicans expressed concern about holding an event on the anniversary of the Capitol riot.

The press conference was set to take place at Florida’s Mar-a-Lago, where Trump has spent the majority of his time since leaving the White House.

In a statement, Trump blamed the “bias and dishonesty” of the media, as well as the House committee still investigating January 6 and the former president’s alleged role in instigating the riot, for his decision.

“In light of the total bias and dishonesty of the January 6th Unselect Committee of Democrats, two failed Republicans, and the Fake News Media, I am canceling the January 6th Press Conference at Mar-a-Lago on Thursday,” he said.

Republican lawmakers have been fairly split on Trump’s now-canceled rally, with some publicly stating there were better things to focus on than the news conference. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) has been among the GOP critics, telling Axios he warned Trump the conference would be a misstep. Fox News host Laura Ingraham also questioned on her show this week whether it was a “good idea” for Trump to mark the anniversary of the Capitol riot.

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The ex-president reportedly planned on focusing his talk on the House committee's investigation into the Capitol riot, but said he will now address the same topics at a rally in Arizona on January 15.

Had Trump gone through with his plan, his talk would have competed for airwaves as numerous January 6 tributes are planned, including speeches from President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Wednesday that Biden’s speech will focus on Trump’s “singular responsibility” for the events at the Capitol, as well as Republicans who continue “perpetuating the Big Lie,” referring to Trump’s continued claims that the 2020 presidential election was marred by widespread fraud. The administration also vowed to punish those who took part in the Capitol riot “at any level,” threatening stiff legal penalties.

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