Freedom and democracy ‘under attack at home and overseas’: Joe Biden delivers State of the Union address

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Joe Biden has declared freedom and democracy are “under attack” both in the US and abroad as he delivered one of the most important speeches of his presidency.

In his State of the Union address, the US president appealed to Congress to continue supporting Ukraine in its war effort against Russia, as he said: “History is watching.”

He warned of the potency of Russian President Vladimir Putin and “assured” the Kremlin would not stop at just attacking Ukraine.

Mr Biden said: “If the United States walks away now, it will put Ukraine at risk. Europe at risk. The free world at risk emboldening others who wish to do us harm.

“My message to President Putin is simple. We will not walk away. We will not bow down. I will not bow down.”

Speaking in the House chamber, Mr Biden quickly turned his attention to Republican opponent and predecessor Donald Trump, condemning his recent comments on Russia.

The 81-year-old pivoted to the 2021 January 6 insurrection at the Capitol Building by Trump supporters – who he did not recognise as “patriots”.

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He called for the threat to democracy to be countered and said Mr Trump and some members present in the chamber sought to “bury the truth” – something he said he would not do.

As the US election approaches in November, Mr Biden spoke vehemently about a number of issues facing America and addressed a selection of invited guests to illustrate his party’s key points.

Highlighting Latorya Beasley, a social worker from Alabama, Mr Biden said she and her husband welcomed a baby 14 months ago “thanks to the miracle of IVF”.

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