The morning after President Donald Trump’s acquittal by the Senate, Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) railed against the commander-in-chief Thursday for his recent State of the Union address and his victory lap touting his impeachment survival.
The speaker of the House lambasted Trump’s indirect criticism of her earlier that morning and accused him of inappropriate conduct during his annual address to Congress that was “beneath the dignity of the White House, and an insult to the Congress of the United States and American people.”
“I pray hard for him because he’s so off the track of our constitution, our values, our country, the air our children breathe, the water they drink, and the rest,” Pelosi said at her weekly press conference. “He really needs our prayers.”
Just hours earlier at the annual nonpartisan National Prayer Breakfast, which both the speaker and the president attended, Trump boasted about his acquittal by holding up several front pages of newspapers with headlines about the subject. He also took an indirect swipe at Pelosi and Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), the lone lawmaker who broke party ranks and voted to convict Trump on the abuse of power impeachment article.
“I don’t like people who use their faith as justification for doing what they know is wrong nor do I like people who say, ‘I pray for you,’ when they know that’s not so,” Trump said. “So many people have been hurt and we can’t let that go on.”
Trump held a special event at the White House Thursday afternoon, where he spoke at length of his acquittal. He labeled Pelosi “a horrible person.”
“She may pray, but she prays for the opposite,” the president said. “I doubt she prays at all.”
Pelosi said that his remarks about Romney, who cited his faith when explaining his decision to support Trump’s removal from office, were “particularly without class” and was “inappropriate,” given they were at a prayer breakfast.
“God bless him for his courage,” she said of the Utah senator. “[Trump was] talking about things he knows little about: faith and prayer.”
Pelosi’s comments marked the first time she spoke with reporters at length since the State of the Union, which featured extraordinary clashes between her and the president when he snubbed a handshake from her and when she later tore up a copy of his speech.
Pelosi said her decision to tear up his “manifesto of mistruths” had nothing to do with the rejected cordial gesture, but rather the content of his address, which Democrats have characterized as “divisive” in nature and reminiscent of a campaign rally.
She often advises members of her caucus to take the high ground and be respectful when dealing with the president. Pelosi denied the notion that her tearing his speech into pieces may have violated that message.
“it was necessary to get the attention of the American people to say this is not true and this is how it affects you,” she said. “And I don’t need any lessons from anybody, especially the president of the United States, about dignity.”