President Donald Trump delivered a speech to the nation Thursday celebrating his impeachment trial acquittal the day before, blasting the process as “crooked” and thanking the “incredible warriors” who sided with him during the ordeal.
Trump described the event as a celebration of another victory over the “evil” forces allied against him.
“Today is the day to celebrate these great warriors, right?” Trump said. “These are great warriors. They really fought hard for us.”
The president’s address was populated with Cabinet members and staffers, as well as activists and allies.
Spotted at the event were former Sen. Rick Santorum, Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH), Matt Gaetz (R-CA), Mark Meadows (R-NC), Elise Stefanik (R-NY), Louis Gohmert (R-TX) House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Sens. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Mike Braun (R-IN), Mike Lee (R-UT), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Trump campaign surrogates Matt and Mercedes Schlapp, and conservative activists David Bossie and Brent Bozell.
“We’ve all been through a lot together,” said Trump thanking his supporters who gave him a standing ovation as he entered the room.
“We went through hell, unfairly,” Trump said, repeating that he did “nothing wrong” to deserve impeachment.
Trump’s legal team was also present and got a standing ovation. “Great job,” he told them.
He joked that his acquittal headlines in the Washington Post about his acquittal were the best his administration ever got.
“I call them friends because you develop friendships and relationships when you’re in battle and war,” Trump said, praising the “incredible warriors” in the room.
“Mitch McConnell, I want to tell you, you did a fantastic job,” he said, praising the Senate Majority Leader for outsmarting his opposition.
“This guy is great,” Trump said. “He’s a tough guy to read… that’s what makes him good.”
“There were some who used religion as a crutch,” Trump said, mocking “failed presidential candidate” Sen. Mitt Romney.
Trump singled out Mike Lee — Romney’s senior colleague representing Utah — for praise, asking him to tell the people of their state “sorry for Mitt Romney.”
He ripped Democrats like House Oversight Chairman Adam Schiff (“a failed screenwriter”) and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (“a horrible person”), mocking the House Speaker’s insistence that she was praying for the president. “I doubt she prays at all,” he said.
Trump denounced the entire process as “crooked politics” from senators who were also running for president in 2020.
“These people have been stone-cold crazy, we beat them once and we’ll beat them again,” he said.
The president previewed the 2020 election, vowing to work to make McCarthy the Speaker of the House. “There’s more spirit now for the Republican Party,” he said.
He also mocked Iowa Democrats for failing to properly count their caucus results. They “can’t count some simple votes, and yet they want to take over your health care system,” he quipped. As he continued with his speech, the Democratic National Committee ordered a total recanvass of votes cast at Monday’s Iowa caucuses.
“It was all bullshit,” Trump said about the “Russia, Russia, Russia” hoax and the Robert Mueller investigation and FBI surveillance. The president mused about whether he should sue former MI6 spy Christopher Steele for the discredited oppo-research dossier which gave cover for federal surveillance of his campaign.
Trump noted that he was under attack from the establishment since the beginning, criticizing several D.C. operatives as “dirty cops,” “leakers,” and “liars.”
At the end of the speech, the president recognized his family for sticking through the process.
“I want to apologize to my family for having them go through a phony rotten deal by some very evil and sick people,” Trump said, singling out Ivanka and Barron Trump. First Lady Melania Trump also joined the president on the stage as the room applauded.
He thanked his family for remaining loyal to him throughout the entire impeachment process.
“They stuck with me and I’m so glad I did it, because we are making progress and we are doing things for our great people,” Trump said.