“It was all bulls—,” Trump said. “They brought me to the final stages of impeachment. But now we have that gorgeous word, I never thought a word would sound so good, it’s called ‘total acquittal.'”
Trump held up Thursday’s edition of the Washington Post, with the headline “Trump Acquitted,” saying it was the best headline he had ever received from the paper. The Senate voted 52-48 on Wednesday against convicting the president for abusing his power, with all Republicans except Romney voting to acquit. Trump was also acquitted of obstructing Congress on a party-line vote of 53-47.
Turning to Utah Sen. Mike Lee, Trump said, “Say hello to the people of Utah, and tell them I’m sorry about Mitt Romney.” Later, he referred to Romney’s loss in the 2012 presidential election, calling him “a guy that can’t stand the fact that he ran one of the worst campaigns in the history of the country.”
He apologized to his family, “for having them have to go through a phony rotten deal, by some very evil and sick people.”
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He also cited former FBI Director James Comey, calling him a “sleazebag.”
“Had I not fired James Comey, who was a disaster by the way, it’s possible I wouldn’t be standing here right now,” he said. “Dirty cops, bad people.”
Among the Democrats, he singled out Rep. Adam Schiff and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, saying both are “horrible.”
“She said, ‘I pray for the president.’ She doesn’t pray,” Trump said. “She may pray but she prays for the opposite, but I doubt she prays at all.”
He also said the impeachment had backfired on Democrats, and predicted that the Republicans will retake the House of Representatives in the fall.
“These people have gone stone-cold crazy, but I’ve beaten them my whole life, and I’ll do it again,” he said.
Trump spoke for well over an hour from the East Room of the White House, in front of an appreciative audience.
He spent several minutes thanking Steve Scalise and recounting the story of the time Scalise was shot at a Congressional baseball practice. “He got whacked,” he said. “He looks better now, can you believe it?” He talked about Bobby Richardson, the Yankees second baseman in the 1960s. “He had unbelievable range. This was not Steve Scalise. Steve had no range.”