Washington DC: Donald Trump has cancelled plans to hold a news conference at his private resort in Florida this week to mark the anniversary of the January 6 Capitol attack.
In a surprise statement issued on Tuesday night (AEST Wednesday) the former US president announced that he would no longer hold the event, which had been widely criticised by some media experts and his political opponents as an attempt to prop up his false claim of a stolen election.
“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 cancelling the January 6th Press Conference at Mar-a-Lago on Thursday, and instead will discuss many of those important topics at my rally on Saturday, January 15th, in Arizona—It will be a big crowd!” Trump said.
The former president – who is considering running for the White House again in 2024 – had scheduled his news conference for 5pm on the evening of January 6, one year after his supporters stormed onto the Capitol in a bid to stop Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s election victory.
But news outlets had been urged not to cover the event amid concerns that it would give Trump a platform to fuel his false claims of election fraud.
“Donald Trump’s January 6 press event should be recognised for what it is: an opportunity for Trump to lie to downplay the violent insurrection at the US Capitol and set up his 2024 presidential campaign,” Angelo Carusone, president of Media Matters for America, a nonprofit media watchdog, said earlier this week.
The Capitol attack left several people dead, injured about 150 police officers, and is widely regarded as one of the most chilling attempts to subvert democracy in recent history.
Trump, who told his supporters at a rally that day to “fight like hell” over his claims of a rigged election, has consistently denied he incited the riot.