‘I don’t like people who use their faith as justification for doing what they know is wrong…’
(Liberty Headlines) President Donald Trump rebuked those who tried to impeach him at a prayer breakfast Thursday, a day after his acquittal by the Senate.
“As everybody knows, my family, our great country and your president have been put through a terrible ordeal by some very dishonest and corrupt people,” Trump said at the annual National Prayer Breakfast in Washington.
He spoke from a stage where he was joined by congressional leaders, including Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who led the impeachment charge against him.
“They have done everything possible to destroy us and by so doing very badly hurt our nation,” said Trump, who triumphantly held up copies of two newspapers with huge “ACQUITTED!” headlines as he took the stage.
It was a whiplash message in contrast to the speakers who came before him, including keynote speaker and Harvard professor Arthur Brooks, who had described a “crisis of contempt and polarization” in the nation and urged those gathered to ”love your enemies.”
“I don’t know if I agree with you,” Trump said, and then he proceeded to demonstrate it.
“I don’t like people who use their faith as justification for doing what they know is wrong,” he said in an apparent reference to Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, a longtime Trump critic who was the only Republican to vote for Trump’s removal.
“Nor do I like people who say ‘I pray for you’ when you know that is not so,’” he said, in a reference to Pelosi.
His comments, including his economic boasting, was a clear sign that the post-impeachment Trump is emboldened like never before as he barrels ahead in his reelection fight with a united Republican Party behind him.
Republican senators voted largely in lockstep to acquit Trump on Wednesday.
Trump avoided talk of impeachment in his State of the Union address on Tuesday night. By the next day, he was already moving to use impeachment as a 2020 rallying cry.
Trump tweeted after the Senate vote that he would mark his acquittal with a statement at noon Thursday to “discuss our Country’s VICTORY on the Impeachment Hoax!” The president’s supporters were being invited to join him in the East Room.
The president and his allies sent giddy tweets needling his accusers and Democrats. In his first message once the trial closed, Trump posted an animated video using a Time magazine cover to suggest he would remain in office “4EVA.”
Adapted from reporting by Associated Press.