President Donald Trump used Thursday’s National Prayer Breakfast to accuse Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT), a devout Mormon, of using his faith as cover for his decision to vote for conviction on one of the articles of impeachment.
“Weeks ago and again yesterday, courageous Republican politicians and leaders had the wisdom, fortitude, and strength to do what everyone knows was right,” he said. “I don’t like people who use their faith as justification for doing what they know is wrong. Nor do I like people who say I pray for you when they know that’s not so.”
On Wednesday, when Romney addressed his impending vote on the Senate floor, he cited his oath before God to act as an impartial juror as one of the main catalysts for his ultimate decision.
Trump also seems to be slipping in a jab at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who often says that she’s praying for the President when they are at odds. In a letter he sent her just before the House voted to impeach him, he accused her of lying about praying for him. Pelosi, a lifelong Catholic, was in attendance at the prayer breakfast.
Trump also spent time crowing about his Wednesday impeachment acquittal, grinning and holding up the front page of the Washington Post emblazoned with the headline: “Trump Acquitted.”
He implicitly characterized Democrats as people he is trying to learn not to hate, to hearty laughter from the crowd.
“I’m sorry. I apologize. I am trying to learn,” he said. “Not easy. It’s not easy. When they impeach you for nothing, and you’re supposed to like them, it’s not easy, folks. I do my best.”
White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham previewed his remarks by predicting that he’d mention how “horribly” he was treated, and that people should “pay” for it.
Trump also gave a greatest hits tour of what he usually cites as his administration’s primary accomplishments, mentioning the stock market, unemployment rate and criminal reform law he signed in December 2018.
These remarks are likely a preview of the full-throated impeachment victory lap he will take from the White House at noon Thursday.