As it happenedended1581031257

Trump news: President gloats over impeachment acquittal as White House trails ominous threat to make opponents ‘pay’

Vindictive White House 'victory' speech follows rally-like State of the Union as Democratic challengers prepare for New Hampshire

Mitt Romney to break from Republicans and vote to convict Trump on impeachment

Surrounded by his cheering allies at the White House, Donald Trump celebrated his acquittal in his impeachment trial after after appearing at the National Prayer Breakfast brandishing aloft newspaper front pages announcing Wednesday's landmark decision.

The president also used the occasion to attack House speaker Nancy Pelosi and Utah senator Mitt Romney, the lone Republican to vote "guilty" with Democrats after excoriating the president in the blistering Senate speech.

Wednesday's Senate vote on the two articles laid against him by the House of Representatives – abuse of power and obstruction of Congress – was split largely along party lines with only Mr Romney daring to break ranks, denouncing the president’s “appalling abuse of public trust” in an emotional speech from the floor that earned him the ire of a vengeful Republican Party, with members calling for his expulsion and likening him to Judas Iscariot and Benedict Arnold.

At her weekly conference, Ms Pelosi criticised Mr Trump's rally-like State of the Union address as a "the compilation of falsehoods" and said she now-famously ripped up a copy of his speech to "clearly [indicate] to the American people that this is not the truth" as the president's allies applauded his remarks.

In preparation for his remarks, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham ominously told Fox News that Mr Trump planned to talk about “how horribly he was treated and that maybe people should pay for that”, suggesting a threatening remainder of his term in office following his opponents' failure to remove him. The White House also issued anti-Romney talking points attacking him as a self-serving politician with a history of flip-flopping.

Mr Trump called the Russia investigations against him as "bulls***" and attacked former FBI Director James Comey, among several targets in his address (Ms Pelosi, Adam Schiff, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Robert Mueller, the FBI's "top scum" and "crookedest and most corrupt", among them).

The remarks went quickly off the rails, from reenacting the shooting of Congressman Steve Scalise to praising Congressman Jim Jordan's looks, briefly addressed the leaked Access Hollywood tape in which he gloats about assaulting women, and leading standing ovations for his legal defence team and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Meanwhile, the results of the Iowa Caucus, the first state to host an election in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary race, are nearly complete, with 97 per cent of the vote totals showing a razor-thin delegate win for Pete Buttiegieg and a majority vote victory for Bernie Sanders, who collected more votes than his opponent.

Despite the vote totals being incomplete, Democratic National Committee chair Tom Perez has pressured Iowa's party officials to review the results, following significant delays and inconsistencies after an app failure forced officials to review the vote totals manually.

The candidates are now campaigning in New Hampshire ahead of that state's primary on 11 February. The president will hold a rally in the state on 10 February.

Follow our coverage as it happened:

1581006300

Speaker slams Trump over State of the Union 'reality show'

Nancy Pelosi is giving her weekly press conference and laying into Trump, accusing him of using the State of the Union as the "backdrop of a reality show" and denying he "inherited a mess" from his predecessor, Barack Obama. 

"He inherited momentum," she says - an argument her side would do well to amplify at every opportunity.

"The president goes on and says 'because of growth many more people are not on food stamps.' No - you kicked them off," she continues.

"God bless him for his courage," she says of Mitt Romney, calling the president's remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast questioning the senator's invocation of Mormon faith "competely inappropriate".

"We've had a strained relationship for a while," she says of her own dealings with Trump.

She continues:

1581006900

Capitol Police called as 'suspicious substance' found near Adam Schiff's office

This is alarming - we'll keep you posted as soon as we hear more.

1581007800

Pelosi hands out fact sheet calling out Trump's lies on US economy

A few more zingers from the speaker:

Before taking to the podium just now, Pelosi issued the following rebuttal to the president's claims during Monday night's address.

1581008400

Administration allows drilling and mining in Utah day after state senator Romney votes to convict presiden

Hmmm...

1581008593

We'll be hearing from Donald Trump on the US Senate's acquittal following a historic vote in the impeachment trial against him on Wednesday. Stay tuned for live updates as they come in.

1581008986

Breaking news: House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff's office and the surrounding area is no longer considered in any possible danger after a suspicious material was previously reported in the region.

1581009729

The president's legal defence team just received a standing ovation as they walked into the White House East Room. The president is entering momentarily.

1581009784

Donald Trump has entered the East Room to a standing ovation. He is expected to discuss the Senate's acquittal in its impeachment trial that concluded yesterday.

1581009904

Donald Trump calls the impeachment investigation "evil" and "corrupt", adding: "I don't know that other presidents would have been able to take it."

1581010029

Donald Trump is now claiming the economy was doing better under the end of Barack Obama's presidency because it looked like he was going to win the White House.

“The market was going up a lot before the [2016] election because it looked like we had a good chance to win", the president claimed.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in