President Donald Trump delivered remarks at the 68th National Prayer Breakfast in Washington D.C. Thursday echoing themes from the president’s State of the Union address delivered on Tuesday.
Trump opened his entrance into the event by holding up newspapers with banner headlines of his acquittal in the impeachment trial that wrapped up Wednesday. The Senate rejected both charges of “abuse of power” and “obstruction of Congress,” in a partisan vote with only Utah Sen. Mitt Romney flipping parties to convict.
At National Prayer Breakfast, President Trump holds up newspapers with headlines highlighting his impeachment acquittal by the US Senate. pic.twitter.com/t8PIrQgofP
— NBC News NOW (@NBCNewsNow) February 6, 2020
At the prayer breakfast, Trump appeared to take a swipe at Romney over the vote and at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who ripped up a copy of the president’s State of the Union address at the conclusion of the annual speech.
“Weeks ago, and again yesterday, courageous Republican politicians and leaders had the wisdom, fortitude and strength to do what everyone knows was right,” Trump said in reference to the Senate impeachment trial.
“I don’t like people who use their faith as justification for doing what they know is wrong,” the president added in an apparent dig at Romney who touted his Mormon faith as reason for voting to convict Wednesday.
“I am profoundly religious. My faith is at the heart of who I am,” Romney said on the Senate floor before the vote. “Does anyone seriously believe that I would consent to these consequences other than from an inescapable conviction that my oath before God demanded it of me?”
Trump followed his swipe at Romney with a criticism of Pelosi.
“Nor do I like people who say, I pray for you, when they know that that’s not so,” Trump said while Pelosi sat feet away from the president.
As Pelosi was leaving a press conference in December, James Rosen from the conservative Sinclair Broadcast Group asked whether she hated the president.
Pelosi turned around to face reporters to address the question and invoked her Catholic faith as evidence of her integrity.
“I was raised in a Catholic house. We don’t hate anybody. Not anybody in the world,” Pelosi declared. “I still pray for the president. I pray for the president all the time. So don’t mess with me when it comes to words like that.”
Trump followed the passive chastising of his political rivals with a message emphasizing the topics highlighted in his annual address two days earlier, promoting the White House’s progress on criminal justice reform and touting the administration’s pro-life agenda.
“America is a nation that believes in redemption,” Trump said, going on to note the passage of the FIRST STEP Act passed in 2018 that aims to reduce prison recidivism. “Faith leaders helped us achieve historic bipartisan criminal justice reform… So thank you very much, everybody in the room, for that help.”
The White House’s progress on criminal justice reform is shaping up to be a key element of the Trump re-election effort, kicking off this historic week by airing an ad during the Super Bowl highlighting the administration’s work on the issue.
At the prayer breakfast, Trump also made abortion a primary topic and reaffirmed his commitment to saving the lives of the unborn.
“As part of out commitment to building a just and loving society, we must build a culture that cherishes the dignity and sanctity of innocent human life,” Trump asserted to applause. “All children, born and unborn, are made in the holy image of God.”
Just two weeks ago, Trump set a new standard for pro-life presidents by becoming the first president to attend the March for Life rally on the National Mall, an annual event that has become a staple in the pro-life movement.