Pres­i­dent fi­nally finds a head­line he likes

Pres­i­dent at­tacks ‘un­fair’ im­peach­ment trial and ‘crooked’ Democrats in White House ad­dress

The Daily Telegraph - - Front page - By Ben Ri­ley-smith US EDI­TOR

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

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