Trump cancels news conference due on anniversary of US Capitol attack

Thousands of supporters of former president stormed Capitol on January 6th, 2021

Former US president Donald Trump on Tuesday cancelled a news conference he had scheduled for January 6th, the first anniversary of an attack by supporters of his on the US Capitol which proved fatal.

Mr Trump said in a statement that he would discuss many of the same topics he would have addressed at the news conference at a rally in Arizona to be held on January 15th.

Thousands of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in Washington DC on January 6th, 2021, in the worst assault on Congress since the War of 1812. Fuelled by Mr Trump's false claims that his November 2020 election defeat was the result of fraud, the rioters tried to stop Congress from certifying President Joe Biden's victory.

One police officer who responded to the scene died the day after the attack, while four others who guarded the Capitol died later by suicide. About 140 police officers were injured during the hours-long attack. Four rioters also died. More than 700 people have been charged with joining in the assault.

The violence led to Mr Trump's second impeachment and numerous investigations. One of them, in the House of Representatives, is seeking to question influential Fox News television personality Sean Hannity about text messages with Mr Trump, his aides and his lawyers during that time.

US President Joe Biden will on Thursday mark the anniversary of the assault on the Capitol by honouring the bravery of law enforcement officers on the scene, and outlining unfinished work needed to strengthen US democracy, the White House said.

"On Thursday, the president is going to speak to the truth of what happened, not the lies that some have spread since, and the peril it has posed to the rule of law and our system of democratic governance," White House spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters.

Mr Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris, both Democrats, will speak on Thursday morning at the US Capitol. – Reuters