Washington, Feb 7 (IANS) US President Donald Trump organised a “celebration” at the White House over his Senate acquittal in his impeachment trial with a vengeful speech in which he reviewed the attacks against him over the past few years.
On Thursday, he repeated his longstanding criticisms of the impeachment, calling it a “witch hunt” launched and conducted by “bad people”, “dirty cops” and “liars” whose only goal was to remove him from office and supposedly “overturn” the results of the 2016 election, reports Efe news.
“It was Russia, Russia, Russia – it was all b******t,” Trump said, speaking extemporaneously and likening the Republican effort to acquit him of the impeachment charges to a “battle” or a “war”.
“Nancy Pelosi is a horrible person,” Trump said, referring to the Democratic speaker of the House who launched impeachment proceedings against him last December after an intelligence agency whistleblower filed a complaint against him for exerting improper pressure on Ukraine.
“(Democrats) are vicious people,” he said.
Trump also singled out Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell – who was sitting in the front row in the East Room of the White House, where Trump spoke and was welcomed with a standing ovation by dozens of supporters, including specially invited Republican lawmakers, who were gathered there, saying: “Mitch McConnell, I want to tell you, you did a fantastic job.”
McConnell then received a loud ovation and stood to thank the crowd, and Trump continued: “This guy is great. I appreciate it, Mitch.”
“We went through hell, unfairly. We did nothing wrong,” said Trump, adding “This is not really a news conference or a speech, it’s not anything. It’s more of a celebration.”
The President said that impeachment was a very “ugly word” to him, but in his rambling remarks he was obviously revelling in his acquittal, calling it “total”.
He also mocked former Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who headed the Russia probe to determine if anyone in Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign had colluded with the Kremlin to help him win the election, called Democrats “vicious as hell” and “lousy” politicians and predicted that they will “probably come back for more”.
The President also lambasted “illegal aliens” and the Democrats’ Iowa caucus fiasco, along with former FBI Director James Comey.
He also held up a Washington Post front page with the headline “Trump acquitted” on it and praised many of the Republicans who defended him during the impeachment hearings in the House and the trial in the Senate.
He also lashed out at Utah Republican Senator Mitt Romney, who voted with the Democrats on the first article of impeachment, on abuse of power, thereby becoming the only US lawmaker ever to vote to remove a president of his own party from office over impeachable offences.
Toward the end of his one-hour monologue, Trump told his audience – who included Cabinet members, the attorneys who defended him in the Senate, conservative pro-Trump media personalities, first lady Melania Trump and daughter Ivanka – that “we went through hell,” and that his “sick”, “rotten” liberal political enemies in Congress are still intent on trying to “destroy our country.”
Earlier on Thursday, Trump attended the National Prayer Breakfast, where he attacked his political rivals and claimed that they had inappropriately invoked “their faith as justification” for their decisions to vote to remove him from office.
It appeared that Trump was referring to Pelosi and Romney, who both have said that their faith guided them to the decision on why Trump needed to be impeached.
“I don’t like people who use their faith as justification for doing what they know is wrong,” Trump said.
“Nor do I like people who say, ‘I pray for you’ when they know that that’s not so. So many people have been hurt, and we can’t let that go on.”