In an address to the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday, President Donald Trump said he “went through hell” during a partisan impeachment process which the day before saw him acquitted in the Senate.
Speaking to the annual gathering of faith leaders, politicians and dignitaries Trump said: “My family, our great country and your president have been put through a terrible ordeal by some very dishonest and corrupt people. They have done everything possible to destroy us.”
Also in attendance on Thursday was House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who claims to be Catholic. Pelosi, who launched the partisan impeachment, insists that she prays for Trump while also saying he is “impeached forever.”
Trump appeared to reference Pelosi, saying, “nor do I like people who say, ‘I pray for you,’ when they know that’s not so.”
At a press conference in December, Pelosi said “I pray for the president all the time.”
Later, Pelosi insisted she did pray for Trump despite criticizing him for his actions in office.
“I pray hard for him, because he’s so off the track of our Constitution, our values, our country,” she said. “I don’t know if the president understands about prayer, or people who do pray.”
The president went on to take a veiled shot at Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, who was the lone Republican to vote to convict the Trump on the first article of impeachment.
“I don’t like people who use their faith as justification for doing what they know is wrong,” Trump said.
In announcing his plan to vote to convict Trump on abuse of power, Romney said Wednesday that he was a very religious person and reached an “inescapable conviction that my oath before God demanded” that he reach that finding.
Holding up a copy of a newspaper with the headline “Trump Acquitted”, the president said: “This is what the end result is. It’s the only good headline I’ve had in the Washington Post.”
Before Trump addressed the National Prayer Breakfast, there was a keynote address from Arthur Brooks, the former president of the American Enterprise Institute.
“Contempt is ripping our country apart,” Brooks said. “You don’t believe it? Turn on prime-time TV. Look at social media. Watch how we talk to each other.”
Trump acknowledged the message when he took the podium, saying: “Arthur, I don’t know if I agree with you. But I don’t know if Arthur’s going to like what I’m going to say.”
As he concluded his remarks, Trump added: “When they impeach you for nothing, then you’re supposed to like them, it’s not easy folks. I do my best.”