President finally finds a headline he likes
President attacks ‘unfair’ impeachment trial and ‘crooked’ Democrats in White House address
Donald Trump delivered a bizarre, free-wheeling hour-long speech to celebrate his impeachment acquittal and to denounce his political foes yesterday
DONALD TRUMP delivered a defiant and free-wheeling response to his impeachment acquittal yesterday, showing no contrition while blaming “vicious” political opponents for the ordeal and declaring: “We went through hell.” In a remarkable White House address, the US president veered from claiming victory to settling scores as he spoke for more than an hour before an audience of supportive politicians and the media.
“This is not a news conference, this is not a speech … this is a celebration,” Mr Trump said, talking without notes in a broadcast carried live across cable news channels.
Mr Trump said he had been treated “unbelievably unfairly”, blamed “crooked politics”, called Democrats who led the impeachment push “horrible” and lavished praise on loyal congressmen. “It was evil, it was corrupt, it was dirty cops, it was leakers and liars. This should never ever happen to another president ever,” Mr Trump said.
At one point, the president held aloft The Washington Post, a newspaper he has frequently attacked, whose front page headline read “Trump acquitted”.
There was no mea culpa moment, a stark contrast to Bill Clinton, the last US president impeached, who gave a press conference apologising to the nation and Congress over his behaviour.
Mr Trump offered only one apology. “I want to apologise to my family for having them have to go through a phony, rotten deal by some very evil and sick people,” he said.
On Wednesday, the Senate voted “not guilty” to both articles of impeachment passed by the House of Representatives – abuse of power and obstruction of justice – which means Mr Trump remains in office and is free to seek re-election in November.
Some Republican senators who voted for acquittal but admonished Mr Trump’s attempt to get Ukraine to investigate the Democrat Joe Biden expressed hope the impeachment would chasten the president.
That was not on display yesterday morning when Mr Trump fired a shot at Mitt Romney, the only Republican senator to vote for his removal, and Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic House speaker.
Mr Trump went further in the White House, repeatedly saying he had done “nothing wrong”. At one point he said: “They [the Democrats] took nothing and brought me to a final vote of impeachment. That’s a very ugly word to me; that’s a dark word.”
But, he added, it had been followed by “that gorgeous word, I never thought a word could sound so good. It’s called total acquittal”.
‘It was evil, it was corrupt, it was dirty cops, it was leakers and liars. This should never happen to another president’
Donald Trump holds yesterday’s Washington Post with the headline ‘Trump acquitted’ during a speech to supporters in the White House. Above left, with his wife Melania