One attack, two interpretations: Biden and Trump both make the Jan. 6 riot a political rallying cry

One attack, two interpretations: Biden and Trump both make the Jan. 6 riot a political rallying cry

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former President Donald Trump will spend Saturday’s third anniversary of the Capitol riot by holding two campaign rallies in leadoff-voting Iowa in his bid to win back the White House.

To mark the moment, President Joe Biden plans to visit a site near Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, on Friday where George Washington and the struggling Continental Army endured a tough winter during the American Revolution. Biden’s advisers say the stop in a critical swing state will highlight Trump’s role in the Jan. 6 siege and give the Democrat a chance for him to lay out the stakes of this year’s election. Weather concerns led Biden to move up his appearance from Saturday.

Vice President Kamala Harris plans to echo Biden’s message in her own speech Saturday at a church convention in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. A person familiar with her remarks, who spoke on condition of anonymity to preview the speech, said Harris will focus on the battle over American freedoms and principles.


With Biden and Trump now headed toward a potential 2020 rematch, both are talking about the same event in very different ways and offering framing they believe gives them an advantage. The dueling narratives reflect how an attack that disrupted the certification of the election is increasingly viewed differently along partisan lines — and how Trump has bet that the riot won’t hurt his candidacy.

Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in an attempt to stop Congress from certifying Biden’s victory, and they forced lawmakers and then-Vice President Mike Pence to flee for their lives. Many Trump loyalists walked to the Capitol after a rally outside the White House in which the Republican president exhorted the crowd to “fight like hell” or “you’re not going to have a country anymore.”

Nine deaths were linked to the attack and more than 700 people have gone to court for their roles in it, and more than 450 people have been sentenced to prison.

Federal prosecutors in Washington have charged Trump in connection with the riot, citing his promotion of false and debunked theories of election fraud and efforts to overturn the results. Trump has pleaded not guilty and continued to lie about the 2020 election.

Trump has still built a commanding lead in the Republican primary, and his rivals largely refrain from criticizing him about Jan. 6. He has called it “a beautiful day” and described those imprisoned for the insurrection as “great, great patriots” and “hostages.” At some campaign rallies, he has played a recording of “The Star-Spangled Banner” sung by jailed rioters — the anthem interspersed with his recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.

Republican strategist Alice Stewart said that “a lot of Republican voters don’t love Jan. 6, but they’re not obsessed about it either” and may support Trump because they oppose Biden’s economic policies.

“Republican voters can hold two consecutive thoughts and say, ‘Jan. 6, that wasn’t great, but that doesn’t affect my bottom line,’” she said.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, one of Trump’s rivals for the Republican nomination, called Jan. 6 a “protest” that “ended up devolving,” and has more recently said Trump “should have come out more forcefully” against the rioters. Another candidate, Trump’s former U.N. ambassador, Nikki Haley, frequently tells crowds that Jan. 6 “was not a beautiful day, it was a terrible day.”

But views overall of the attack have hardened along partisan lines.

In the days after the attack, 52% of U.S. adults said Trump bore a lot of responsibility for Jan. 6, according to the Pew Research Center. By early 2022, that had declined to 43%. The number of Americans who said Trump bore no responsibility also increased to 32% in 2022 compared to 24% in 2021.

A Washington Post-University of Maryland poll released this week found that about 7 in 10 Republicans say too much is being made of the attack. Just 18% of GOP supporters say that protesters who entered the Capitol were “mostly violent,” down from 26% in 2021, while 77% of Democrats and 54% of independents say the protesters were mostly violent — essentially unchanged from 2021.

A December poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, meanwhile, found that 87% of Democrats and 54% of independents believe a second Trump term would negatively affect U.S. democracy. Some 82% of Republicans believe democracy would be weakened by another Biden win, with 56% of independents agreeing.

Biden’s campaign also announced an advertising push starting Saturday with a spot centering on the Capitol attack.

In the ad, Biden says, “There’s something dangerous happening in America.”

“There’s an extremist movement that does not share the basic beliefs of our democracy,” Biden says as images from the insurrection appear. “All of us are being asked right now, what will we do to maintain our democracy.”

His campaign is spending $500,000 to run the 60-second ad on national television news and on local evening news in TV markets in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, as well as shorter versions on digital platforms.

It’s a theme Biden has returned to repeatedly.

He marked the first anniversary of the riot in 2022 by standing inside the Capitol’s National Statuary Hall — which was flooded by pro-Trump rioters during the attack — to suggest that his predecessor and his supporters had had “a dagger at the throat of America.”

Ahead of the 2022 midterm elections, the president repeatedly characterized Trump as a threat to democracy. That included a speech at Philadelphia’s Constitution Hall, where he said that the “extreme ideology” of Trump and his supporters “threatens the very foundation of our republic.”

On the second anniversary of the attack in 2023, Biden awarded presidential medals to 14 people for their work protecting the Capitol during the attack and decried “a violent mob of insurrectionists.” More recently, he said there was “no question” Trump supported an insurrection.

“Not even during the Civil War did insurrectionists breach our Capitol,” said Julie Chavez Rodriguez, manager of Biden’s reelection campaign, in a call with reporters this week. “But, at the urging of Donald Trump, insurrectionists on January 6, 2021 did.”

Trump now counters that the federal charges he’s facing related to Jan. 6 — as well as authorities in Maine and Colorado trying to keep him off primary ballots on grounds that he incited an insurrection — show that Democrats are the ones looking to undercut the nation’s core values.

“Joe Biden and his allies are a real and compelling threat to our democracy,” Trump senior campaign advisers Chris LaCivita and Susie Wiles wrote in a memo this week.

Aside from the back and forth of politics, such arguments over who endangers America more could indicate a deeper problem.

“When each side starts talking about the other as a threat to democracy — whatever the reality is — that’s a sign of a democracy that’s deconsolidating,” said Daniel Ziblatt, a government professor at Harvard University and co-author of the book “How Democracies Die.”

FILE – Rioters loyal to President Donald Trump gather on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021. Federal prosecutors have recommended a six-month term of imprisonment for Ray Epps, a man at the center of a right-wing conspiracy theory about the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

The Beatles are releasing their ‘final’ record. AI helped make it possible

The Beatles are releasing their ‘final’ record. AI helped make it possible

LONDON (AP) — Artificial intelligence has been used to extract John Lennon’s voice from an old demo to create “the last Beatles record,” decades after the band broke up, Paul McCartney said Tuesday.

McCartney, 80, told the BBC that the technology was used to separate the Beatles’ voices from background sounds during the making of director Peter Jackson’s 2021 documentary series, “The Beatles: Get Back.” The “new” song is set to be released later this year, he said.

Jackson was “able to extricate John’s voice from a ropey little bit of cassette and a piano,” McCartney told BBC radio. “He could separate them with AI, he’d tell the machine ‘That’s a voice, this is a guitar, lose the guitar’.”
“So when we came to make what will be the last Beatles record, it was a demo that John had that we worked on,” he added. “We were able to take John’s voice and get it pure through this AI so then we could mix the record as you would do. It gives you some sort of leeway.”

McCartney didn’t identify the name of the demo, but the BBC and others said it was likely to be an unfinished 1978 love song by Lennon called “Now and Then.” The demo was included on a cassette labeled “For Paul” that McCartney had received from Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono, the BBC reported.

McCartney described AI technology as “kind of scary but exciting,” adding: “We will just have to see where that leads.”

The same technology enabled McCartney to “duet” virtually with Lennon, who was murdered in 1980, on “I’ve Got a Feeling” last year at Glastonbury Festival.

The singer-songwriter is set to open an exhibition later this month at the National Portrait Gallery in London featuring previously unseen photographs that he took during the early days of the Beatles at the start of “Beatlemania,” when the band rose to worldwide fame.

The exhibition, titled “Eyes of the Storm,” showcases more than 250 photos McCartney took on his camera between 1963 and 1964 — including portraits of Ringo Starr, George Harrison and Lennon, as well as Beatles manager Brian Epstein.

FILE – Paul McCartney and Nancy Shevell pose for photographers upon arrival for the premiere of the film ‘If These Walls Could Sing’ in London, Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Artificial intelligence has been used to extract John Lennon’s voice from an old demo to create “the last Beatles record,” Paul McCartney said Tuesday, June 13, 2023. McCartney, 80, told the BBC that the technology was used to separate the Beatles’ voices from background sounds during the making of director Peter Jackson’s 2021 documentary series, “The Beatles: Get Back.” (Photo by Scott Garfitt/Invision/AP, File)

First snow storm of the year hits Long Island

First snow storm of the year hits Long Island

The first significant storm of the winter is bringing  snow, a wintry mix and rain tonight through the first half of Tuesday.

Roads are messy and lots of schools have delayed openings or have canceled classes for a full listing of school closings go to New York Cancer And Blood Specialists Storm Center on our website.


(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Mega Millions jackpot climbs to $940M after no winner

Mega Millions jackpot climbs to $940M after no winner

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Mega Millions jackpot increased to an estimated $940 million after another drawing Tuesday resulted in plenty of losers but not a single grand prize winner

The numbers drawn late Tuesday night were: 25, 29, 33, 41, 44 and gold Mega Ball 18.

The next drawing is scheduled to be held Friday night.

The new $940 million jackpot is for a winner who chooses to be paid through an annuity over 29 years. Nearly all winners opt for a cash payout, which for Friday night’s drawing would be an estimated $483.5 million.

In Tuesday’s drawing, there were more than 2.9 million winning tickets of various amounts including three $4 million tickets sold in Arizona, Mississippi and South Dakota, Mega Millions said in a statement.

The lack of a winner of an estimated $785 million jackpot Tuesday means there have been 23 straight drawings without anyone taking the top prize.

The new jackpot will remain the sixth-largest jackpot in U.S. history.

The jackpot-winning drought isn’t surprising given the daunting odds of one in 302.6 million of winning the top prize.

The jackpot is the largest since someone in California won a record $2.04 billion Powerball prize on Nov. 8. There still has not been an announced winner of that prize.

There have been only three larger Mega Millions jackpots than Friday’s estimated prize in the game’s 20 years, including $1.53 billion in 2018, $1.05 billion in 2021 and $1.33 billion in July, Mega Millions said.

Mega Millions is played in 45 states as well as Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

A clerk at Broad Street Liquors updates the Mega Millions jackpot at the store’s lottery counter, Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023, in Timonium, Md. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Fire destroys Town of Huntington garbage trucks

Fire destroys Town of Huntington garbage trucks

A fire destroys nearly half of the Town of Huntington garbage truck fleet late Saturday night.

At least six trucks of the towns 15 vehicles were destroyed in fire.

Authorities say there were no injuries. The cause of the fire is under investigation but it does not appear to be suspicious.

Despite the loss, the town believes crews can stick to regularly scheduled garbage pickup, Yard waste, however, will be suspended this week.

New soccer stadium coming to Queens

New soccer stadium coming to Queens

New York City officials and the New York City Football Club have reached an agreement to build a 25,000-seat soccer stadium in Queens right next door to Citi Field. The stadium will be the centerpiece of a planned mixed-used development for the site near the New York Mets home that was once filled with auto body shops.
The new soccer-specific stadium is expected to be completed by 2027 and the development would also include a 250-room hotel and 2,500 units of housing. New York City officials say limited public money would be used for the project and that NYCFC would be paying the entire cost of the stadium, which is estimated to cost $780 million.

(AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

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