President Donald Trump made an appearance at the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday morning, but rather than being focused on the bipartisan event, his mind was on the impeachment trial that concluded Wednesday.
According to NBC News, Trump entered the Prayer Breakfast stage while holding up copies of USA Today and The Washington Post with headlines reading "ACQUITTED" and "Trump Acquitted."
He opened by speaking about the impeachment trial, claiming that the entire process was corrupt and that it had harmed the nation.
"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," he said. "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."
He continued, saying that Republicans had been "courageous" enough to acquit him before attacking those who say that they will pray for people.
"I don't like people who use their faith as justification for doing what they know is wrong," he said.
Finally, he promised to talk about his acquittal and the next steps later in the day.
"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," he vowed.Trump was acquitted primarily along party lines in the Senate impeachment trial on Wednesday, with only Utah Sen. Mitt Romney voting to convict the president on one of the two articles of impeachment against him. The House passed one article for obstruction of Congress and one for abusing the power of the office of president, but the Senate ultimately decided that the president's behavior didn't warrant removal from office.
Nancy Pelosi appeared at the National Prayer Breakfast as well, along with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and 200 members of Congress. Both spoke after Trump made his statement, offering nonpartisan prayers. They did, however, make mention that Trump's speech was considered particularly partisan at an event that is typically considered to be a break from the usual politics in Washington.
Trump further raised eyebrows when he notably didn't raise his hand when the individual speaking at the podium asked those in the audience to raise their hands if they love someone that they don't agree with politically.
It's not the first time that Trump has courted controversy at the event. In 2017, he asked people to pray for the new host of the Celebrity Apprentice.