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Politics Overnight Defense & National Security — Biden takes on Trump in Jan. 6 speech

07:22  07 january  2022
07:22  07 january  2022 Source:   thehill.com

Joe Biden's 2022 challenges revolve around Covid, Russia and dealing with Congress

  Joe Biden's 2022 challenges revolve around Covid, Russia and dealing with Congress President Joe Biden will return to the White House from an abbreviated winter break facing a set of hurdles that will test his political, diplomatic and management skills at a trying moment for his presidency. © Drew Angerer/Getty Images President Joe Biden speaks about the omicron variant of the coronavirus in the State Dining Room of the White House December 21, 2021 in Washington, DC. The raging pandemic, a crisis with Russia and uncertainty surrounding his prized domestic priorities all await Biden in the new year.

It's Thursday, welcome to Overnight Defense & National Security, your nightly guide to the latest developments at the Pentagon, on Capitol Hill and beyond. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup.

President Biden took on former President Trump in a fiery speech on Thursday marking one year since the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

More on his speech, plus, Japan asking the U.S. military to stay on bases due to a surge of COVID-19 infections in the nation.

For The Hill, I'm Jordan Williams. Write me with tips at jwilliams@thehill.com.

Let's get to it.

Biden marks Jan. 6 by going after Trump

  Overnight Defense & National Security — Biden takes on Trump in Jan. 6 speech © Provided by The Hill

President Biden issued a strong rebuke of former President Trump in a speech marking the anniversary of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, accusing his predecessor of spreading a "web of lies" that laid the foundation for the attack.

Sunday shows - Officials brace for Jan. 6 anniversary

  Sunday shows - Officials brace for Jan. 6 anniversary The upcoming one-year anniversary of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol dominated the political talk shows on Sunday morning. The U.S. Capitol Police chief discussed improvements in the past year, and key members of the House panel investigating Jan. 6 provided updates on the probe.Multiple guests also discussed developments in the COVID-19 pandemic, including the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for asymptomatic individuals who test positive for the virus.Read The Hill's complete coverage below.Capitol Police chief says force plans 'more well thought out' after Jan.

Biden did not mention Trump by name but referred to him throughout his remarks as the former president. He took on both Trump and supporters who have parroted claims the election was rigged in the fiery address, which lasted nearly 25 minutes.

The 2020 election: Biden described the 2020 presidential election as the "greatest demonstration of democracy in the history of this country," noting that more Americans voted in that election than any other before it.

"No election in American history has been more closely scrutinized or more carefully counted," he said.

Law enforcement saved 'rule of law:' Biden at several points honored the law enforcement officers who protected the Capitol on Jan. 6.

"Outnumbered and in the face of a brutal attack, the Capitol Police, the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department, the National Guard and other brave law enforcement officials saved the rule of law," the president began his speech.

Biden's presidency shadowed by the January 6 riot and Donald Trump a year later

  Biden's presidency shadowed by the January 6 riot and Donald Trump a year later Two weeks before becoming president, Joe Biden watched the January 6 attack on television from his home in Delaware, horrified as the unspeakable images of the insurrection unfolded and aghast at the sitting President's unwillingness to condemn it. © Jon Cherry/Getty Images WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06: A large group of pro-Trump protesters stand on the East steps of the Capitol Building after storming its grounds on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. A pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol, breaking windows and clashing with police officers.

The president also honored those who made "the ultimate sacrifice."

"Jill and I have mourned police officers in this Capitol Rotunda not once but twice in the wake of January 6th: once to honor Officer Brian Sicknick, who lost his life the day after the attack, and a second time to honor Officer Billy Evans, who lost his life defending this Capitol as well," he said.

Trump fires back: Trump, in a statement released just as Biden wrapped up his speech in Statuary Hall, called the remarks "political theater."

Trump said that Biden "used my name today to try to further divide America."

The statement further reiterated Trump's claims that the 2020 election was rigged, pointing to why the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attacks was "not discussing the rigged Presidential Election of 2020?" and again said the "big lie" was the election itself and not his claims that the result was rigged against him.

Analysis: Joe Biden rediscovers his fighting spirit as he takes on Donald Trump

  Analysis: Joe Biden rediscovers his fighting spirit as he takes on Donald Trump In marking the anniversary of the Capitol insurrection, President Joe Biden rediscovered the sense of mission and political clarity that had disappeared when his presidency slumped during a cascade of crises in the second half of 2021. © DREW ANGERER/AFP/POOL/AFP via Getty Images US President Joe Biden speaks at the US Capitol on January 6, 2022, to mark the anniversary of the attack on the Capitol in Washington, DC. - Thousands of supporters of then-president Donald Trump stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021, in a bid to prevent the certification of Biden's election victory.

Read the full story here.

DHS warns of uptick in extremist chatter

  Overnight Defense & National Security — Biden takes on Trump in Jan. 6 speech © Provided by The Hill

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) warned its partners of an uptick in chatter on extremist platforms.

John Cohen, DHS's head of the Office of Intelligence and Analysis, wrote in a memo obtained by The Hill that while there were no indications of a specific threat, DHS and FBI identified content that "could be directed against political and other government officials, including members of Congress, state and local officials, and high-profile members of political parties."

The development comes as lawmakers gathered in the Capitol to celebrate the anniversary of Jan. 6.

What DHS found: One online posting references the Jan. 6 anniversary as "an appropriate day to conduct assassinations against named Democratic political figures, including POTUS, because of the perceived fraudulent election."

Also among the examples listed in the memo was an anonymously shared video listing 93 members of Congress it claimed were involved in certifying the "fraudulent" 2020 election.

Democrats hail Biden for calling out Trump

  Democrats hail Biden for calling out Trump Democrats have been waiting for a year for President Biden to call out former President Trump for his claims about the 2020 presidential election and pinpoint the role Trump played in instigating his followers to "fight like hell" to contest the result. Standing in the Capitol on Thursday, Biden finally did just that.A widespread sentiment among Democrats has been that Biden hasn't been hard enough on Trump as the former president relentlessly accuses Democrats of rigging the election and making repeated claims about widespread voter fraud in which a variety of legal maneuvers and state certifications have failed to prove.

The memo says the Secret Service, U.S. Capitol Police and the D.C. Metropolitan Police have initiated investigations into the threats.

"We are making you aware of this information because we recognize the potential threat of violence could extend beyond the NCR," Cohen said, using an acronym for the National Capital Region.

Read the full story here.

JAPAN ASKS US TROOPS TO STAY ON BASE

A Japanese foreign minister asked that members of the U.S. military remain on their bases to prevent the spread of COVID-19 as the nation deals with a surge.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi spoke on the phone about the safety measures ahead of Hayashi's request on Thursday, according to The Associated Press.

"The mitigation measures we have instituted throughout USFJ are intended to protect our force's readiness, the well-being of our families, and the health of Japan's citizens. We recognize we all have a part to play in keeping our communities safe," US Forces in Japan (USFJ) said in a statement.

New rules: All military personnel in Japan must remain masked until they have received three negative COVID-19 tests regardless of vaccination status, USFJ said.

This new policy is in addition to an earlier rule requiring that everyone be masked when off base.

Biden to amp up the pressure on the Senate to change filibuster rules for voting rights during Atlanta speech

  Biden to amp up the pressure on the Senate to change filibuster rules for voting rights during Atlanta speech President Joe Biden is traveling to Atlanta on Tuesday to deliver a major speech on voting rights, looking to turn up the heat on reluctant senators as Democrats face pressure to pass two pieces of pending legislation opposed by nearly all Republicans on Capitol Hill. © DREW ANGERER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images US President Joe Biden speaks at the US Capitol on January 6, 2022, to mark the anniversary of the attack on the Capitol in Washington, DC. - Thousands of supporters of then-president Donald Trump stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021, in a bid to prevent the certification of Biden's election victory.

USFJ said it is requiring no less than three negative COVID-19 tests upon traveling to Japan-including testing before departure, upon arrival, and while in a "restriction of movement" period."

The COVID surge: Areas like Okinawa and Iwakuni in southern Japan, where large groups of American forces are based, have seen notable spikes in COVID-19 infections, the AP noted.

The Coronavirus Resource Center at Johns Hopkins University indicated that the country saw just over 6,000 cases in the last week, notably less than the record high of 158,548 cases seen in a week during August of last year.

While Japan has never had a lockdown, it has imposed various restrictions in terms of hours of operation or limits on how many people a restaurant can serve, but those measures were ended in September.

BLINKEN URGES 'PEACEFUL' RESOLUTION

Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with Kazakhstan's top diplomat on Thursday and called for a "peaceful, rights-respecting resolution" to deadly protests in the country while also raising concern about Russian intervention.

Blinken spoke with Kazakhstani Foreign Minister Mukhtar Tileuberdi where he reiterated U.S. support for Kazakhstan's "constitutional institutions and media freedom," amid reports of internet blackouts alongside mass protests marked by violence and clashes with security forces.

The crisis in Kazakhstan: The protests, initially spurred by a steep rise in liquified natural gas prices earlier this week, escalated dramatically and grew into mass opposition to the three-decade influence of former Kazakhstani President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who up until the protests had remained the head of the country's powerful Security Council.

Analysis: Joe Biden and Democrats run up against relentless conservative power

  Analysis: Joe Biden and Democrats run up against relentless conservative power Democrats control Washington but President Joe Biden is staring at a wall of conservative power, accrued over years and wielded with a ruthlessness and zeal for rule-breaking that his own party has rarely matched. © Jose Luis Magana/AP President Joe Biden speaks to the media after meeting privately with Senate Democrats, Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana) The President's struggles to implement his strategy to protect US democracy and reshape the economy to help working Americans are hampered by divisions in his own party.

Nazarbayev was dismissed from his position as the head of the Security Council on Wednesday by Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev to quell the protests. Tokayev's Cabinet also resigned.

Russian-led peacekeeping forces comprising of soldiers from former Soviet states are being deployed to the country in response to a request from Tokayev to "stabilize and normalize" the situation, Armenian President Nikol Pashinyan posted on Facebook.

Read our coverage of the Kazakstan crisis:

  • Blinken calls for 'peaceful' resolution to crisis in Kazakstan
  • Russia sends troops to intervene in Kazkhstan protests

ON TAP FOR TOMORROW

  • The Washington Post Live will host a conversation on "Afghan Refugee Crisis" at 11 a.m.
  • The Center for a New American security will host a discussion on "Containing Crisis: Strategic Concepts for Coercive Economic Statecraft on China" at 11:30 a.m.

WHAT WE'RE READING

  • UK working on 'high impact' sanctions over Ukraine
  • China blasts US over support of Lithuanian in Taiwan spat
  • China says it plans to finish space station by end of year, make more than 40 launches
  • Blinken appoints new special envoy Satterfield to Horn of Africa
  • Miltary.com: January 6 investigation enters second year with unanswered questions about the National Guard

That's it for today! Check out The Hill's defense and national security pages for latest coverage. We'll see you tomorrow.

Biden team regroups after court loss on COVID shots-or-test .
WASHINGTON (AP) — Concerned but not giving up, President Joe Biden is anxiously pushing ahead to prod people to get COVID-19 shots after the Supreme Court put a halt to the administration's sweeping vaccinate-or-test plan for large employers. At a time when hospitals are being overrun and record numbers of people are getting infected with the omicron variant, the administration hopes states and companies will order their own vaccinate-or-test requirements. And if the presidential “bully pulpit” still counts for persuasion, Biden intends to use it.

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