Trump lashes out at enemies as he comes face to face with Pelosi at Prayer Breakfast

President also attacks Mitt Romney over vote to remove him from office, citing his faith

John T. Bennett
Washington
Thursday 06 February 2020 15:23
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Trump attacks Pelosi and Romney at prayer meeting

Donald Trump has lashed out at Nancy Pelosi as he came face to face with her for the first time since his impeachment acquittal, accusing her of religious hypocrisy as they attended a National Prayer Breakfast.

In his signature brash fashion, Mr Trump started by going after Ms Pelosi, saying Democrats had put his family and himself through a "terrible ordeal by some very dishonest and corrupt people".

"They have done everything possible to destroy us, and by so doing, very badly hurt our nation," he said, adding near the end of his remarks: "When they impeach you for nothing, it's not easy. But I do my best." The religious audience applauded loudly.

The president also contended that Ms Pelosi and Democrats had put themselves before the country.

"I don't like people who use their faith for justifying doing what they know is wrong," he said, alluding to Senator Mitt Romney, who was the lone Republican senator to vote with Democrats to remove him from office for abusing his power. During a Wednesday floor speech, Mr Romney cited his Mormon faith and the oath he took as a senator, swearing to God, as a reason he decided to vote to convict and remove a president of his own party.

Arthur Brooks, former head of the conservative American Enterprise Institute, spoke in between the speaker and president. Less than two days after their public spat – including the president's refusal to shake Ms Pelosi's hand before his State of the Union address and her decision to rip up her copy of the speech – Mr Brooks called for "civility".

"Contempt is killing this country. Look at primetime television," he said, noting he recently viewed a YouTube clip in which he "rolled my eyes" at a woman as they discussed public policy.

President Donald Trump holds up newspaper that reads "ACQUITTED" at 68th annual National Prayer Breakfast

"It's a habit, and it's tearing our society apart," Mr Brooks warned the attendees.

Mr Trump began his remarks addressing Mr Brooks, "Arthur, I don't know if I agree with you." He lived up to that promise seconds later, going after Ms Pelosi and Mr Romney.

The conservative populist president ticked off a list of things he has pushed since taking office, like school prayer and anti-abortion policies.

"You better get out there and vote on November 3, because there's a lot of people who don't like what we're doing," Mr Trump said with a shake of his head.

As he often does, Mr Trump ticked off a list of other perceived accomplishments, like a bipartisan criminal justice reform law and his contention he is reviving parts of the US manufacturing base – even though government data suggests sluggishness in that sector.

Despite Mr Brooks' warning, Mr Trump said his administration was reviving the "national spirit".

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