Trump’s Revenge on Mitt Romney Begins. At a Prayer Breakfast.

“They have done everything they can to destroy us.”

Evan Vucci/AP

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones' newsletters.

The National Prayer Breakfast, an annual gathering hosted by members of Congress for faith leaders, would hardly seem like an appropriate setting for a vengeful outburst. But on Thursday morning, President Donald Trump appeared to do just that. Speaking at the annual event in Washington, Trump opened his remarks by lashing out at the impeachment trial, while taking thinly-veiled aim at Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“As everybody knows, my family, our great country and your president have been put through a terrible ordeal by some very dishonest and corrupt people,” Trump told the crowd, his voice sounding more hoarse than usual. “They have done everything possible to destroy us and by so doing, very badly hurt our nation. They know what they are doing is wrong, but they put themselves far ahead of our great country.”

Both Romney, who is a Mormon, and Pelosi, a Catholic, have cited their faiths while opposing the president during the impeachment trial. “I am a profoundly religious person,” the Utah senator had said in an emotional speech announcing his vote to convict Trump. “I take an oath before God as enormously consequential.” Pelosi, who also attended Thursday’s prayer breakfast, has repeatedly said that she was praying for the president throughout the impeachment proceedings.

Trump, who counts evangelical Christians among his most loyal supporters, would have none of it. “I don’t like people who use their faith as justification for doing what they know is wrong,” he continued. “Nor do I like people who say ‘I pray for you’ when they know that that’s not so. So many people have been hurt and we can’t let that go on.”

Before launching into his furious remarks on Thursday, Trump beamed as he held up two newspapers reading “ACQUITTED” and “Trump Acquitted,” a victory lap swiftly erased by his own revenge politics moments later. Many watching on social media weighed in on the president’s conduct at the normally staid event:

The White House, naturally, had its own version of what took place. 

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.