Trump uses National Prayer Breakfast to gloat about impeachment acquittal while standing just feet from Nancy Pelosi

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Trump national prayer breakfast

Evan Vucci/AP

  • At Thursday's National Prayer Breakfast, President Donald Trump boasted about his acquittal in the Senate's impeachment trial as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sat just feet away.
  • Trump began the usually nonpartisan prayer breakfast by proudly displaying newspapers reporting on his acquittal on their front pages.
  • "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, adding, "They have done everything possible to destroy us."
  • "I don't like people who use their faith as justification to do something they know is wrong, nor do I like people who say, 'I pray for you,' when they know that is not so," Trump said in a dig at Pelosi and Sen. Mitt Romney.
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President Donald Trump used the usually solemn occasion of the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday to gloat about his acquittal in the Senate's impeachment as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sat just feet from him.

After a two-week trial, the Senate acquitted Trump of two articles of impeachment on Wednesday, clearing him of the charge of abuse of power in a 52-48 vote and of obstruction of Congress by a 53-47 vote.

Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah was the sole Republican to break with his party by voting to convict Trump of abuse of power, incurring Trump's and the GOP's wrath.

Trump began the prayer breakfast by proudly displaying newspaper covers reporting on his acquittal on their front pages.

At the outset of his remarks, Trump blasted the Democrats and Pelosi for impeaching him, injecting a highly political and adversarial tone into what is usually a nonpartisan faith event.

"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. "They have done everything possible to destroy us, and in so doing have very badly hurt our nation. They know what they are doing is wrong, but they have put themselves far ahead of our great country."

Trump then took swipes at Pelosi and Romney, both of whom frequently draw on their faith to inform and explain their decisions in their roles. Pelosi, who is Catholic, has said she regularly prays for her political foes, including Trump, while Romney is a devout Mormon.

"I don't like people who use their faith as justification to do something they know is wrong, nor do I like people who say, 'I pray for you,' when they know that is not so," Trump said. "So many people have been hurt, and we can not let that go on."

Donald Trump

AP Photo/ Evan Vucci

In a speech on the Senate floor on Wednesday explaining his decision to vote to convict Trump of abuse of power, Romney invoked his faith and his belief that "our Constitution was inspired by Providence."

"I support a great deal of what the president has done. I have voted with him 80% of the time," he said. "But my promise before God to apply impartial justice required that I put my personal feelings and biases aside."

While Pelosi and Trump have had an often frosty relationship since she assumed the speakership a year ago, Pelosi became one of Trump's biggest foes when she opened an impeachment inquiry into Trump's conduct toward Ukraine and oversaw the House's impeachment of him.

On Tuesday, tensions between Trump and Pelosi spilled out into the open at Trump's third State of the Union address.

Trump appeared to snub the House speaker when she tried to shake his hand before his speech, and Pelosi ripped up a copy of his speech and tossed it aside as Trump finished his address.

As she exited the chamber, Pelosi told reporters that she ripped up the speech because "it was the courteous thing to do considering the alternatives."

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