President Trump lashed out at his impeachment foes and trumpeted his acquittal Thursday morning, and he kept up the themes during a public appearance in the afternoon at the White House. "This is not really a news conference," said Trump, per Politico. "It's a celebration." During the hour-plus event, he also called out his opponents as "some very evil and sick people." Coverage:
- Strong words: One of the lines getting the most attention: "It was all bull----." Trump made the assertion as he ticked off a series of what he views as unfair attacks and investigations. "We first went through Russia, Russia, Russia," he said, before making his BS comment, reports the New York Post. The New York Times calls it a "rare presidential use of profanity on camera in the East Room."
- A headline: "We went through hell, unfairly, did nothing wrong," said Trump. "But this is what the end result is," he said, holding up a copy of the Washington Post with a "Trump Acquitted" headline to sustained applause. "It's the only good headline I've ever had in the Washington Post," he said, joking that he might get it framed. Later: "Now we have that gorgeous word," per ABC News. "I never thought a word would sound so good. It's called 'total acquittal.'"
- The targets: There were many, including former FBI chief James Comey. Trump called him a "sleazebag" and said if he hadn't fired Comey, "it's possible I wouldn't be here right now." Trump also singled out Mitt Romney, the lone GOP senator to vote against him on impeachment. Romney "used religion as a crutch," said Trump. "Things can happen when you fail so badly running for president." And of Nancy Pelosi: "I doubt she prays at all," he said, referring to her public statements that she prays for the president.
- His family: “I want to apologize to my family for having them have to go through a phony, rotten deal by some very evil and sick people,” Trump said of his wife and children. "This was not part of the deal. ... But they stuck with me." He made a rare mention of his youngest son, Barron, notes the Daily Caller. He also brought daughter Ivanka on stage as well as first lady Melania.
- Critical take: The Washington Post notes that Trump showed "no remorse" over the accusation that exerted improper pressure on Ukraine's leader for an investigation into political foes. Some GOP senators who voted to acquit called his actions inappropriate.
- A contrast: The AP describes Trump's Thursday as a "scorched-earth victory lap" and notes that before Trump spoke in the morning, at the National Prayer Breakfast, conservative think tank leader Arthur Brooks urged the crowd to "love your enemies." When Trump spoke, he said, "I don't know if I agree with you," and then, per the AP, "proceeded to demonstrate it."
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