President Trump celebrated his impeachment acquittal in a rambling, emotional speech raging against the investigations that have overshadowed his entire administration
President Donald Trump celebrated his impeachment acquittal Thursday in a rambling, emotional speech raging against the investigations that have overshadowed his entire administration.
Trump gathered scores of loyal Republican legislators, his legal team, his wife Melania and White House aides in the ceremonial East Room and brandished the front page of The Washington Post reading: “Trump acquitted.” “This is what the end result is,” he said to a standing ovation.
Trump is on a victory lap after Wednesday’s Senate vote clearing him of abusing his office and obstructing Congress.
But the event in the White House was an unusual mixture of Trump bitterly recounting Democratic-led investigations of his alleged corruption, joking and praise for those who stood by him.
It was “not a news conference, not a speech, it’s not anything,” Trump said. “It’s a celebration.” Trump said he’d been “through hell” but we ended up “winning” against “vicious” Democrats.
Trump now hopes to seize the momentum to push his reelection campaign against a divided Democratic party.
He began earlier Thursday with an appearance at the annual National Prayer Breakfast, a multi-faith gathering for Washington power brokers, business leaders and conservative evangelicals.
The theme of the breakfast was “love your enemy.” But from the moment he entered to the strains of “Hail to the Chief,” Trump made his feelings clear by holding up a copy of USA Today with another banner headline proclaiming his acquittal.
In a tired, raspy voice, Trump indicated he was in no mood for forgiveness, saying he’d been “put through a terrible ordeal by some very dishonest and corrupt people.” He also ripped into Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, who as speaker of the House led his impeachment, and Mitt Romney, the lone Republican senator to support the charges. “I don’t like people who use their faith as justification for doing what they know is wrong,” he said in a clear reference to Romney, a devout Mormon who cited his faith as a reason for breaking ranks with Trump. “Nor do I like people who say ‘I pray for you’ when they know that’s not so,” he added in a jab at People.