President Donald Trump said Thursday that he suffered a “terrible ordeal” during his impeachment.
In his first public comments since being acquitted by the Senate of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, he said he had been “put through a terrible ordeal by some very dishonest and corrupt people.”
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“They have done everything possible to destroy us and by so doing very badly hurt our nation,” he said at a televised prayer breakfast with a Who’s Who of Washington power brokers.
Speaking in an unusually raspy voice, Trump noted that he would be giving a statement at the White House later. He said he would discuss his determination that what happened during his impeachment cannot be allowed to “go on.”
“I don’t like people who use their faith as justification for doing what they know is wrong,” Trump said in an apparent to Senator Mitt Romney, the sole Republican who voted to convict the president. Romney cited his faith in explaining his vote on the Senate floor Wednesday.
“Nor do I like people who say ‘I pray for you’ when they know that’s not so,” said Trump, in a clear reference to his chief Democratic antagonist, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who on several occasions said she prays for the president.
He added: “So many people have been hurt and we can’t let that go on and I’ll be discussing that a little bit later at the White House.”