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Trump holds White House celebration to revel in Senate acquittal

TRUMP IMPEACHMENT (ADDS VIDEO) | 06 de febrero de 2020

Washington, Feb 6 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump on Thursday organized a "celebration" at the White House to hail his acquittal in his impeachment trial in the Republican-controlled Senate with a vengeful speech in which he reviewed the attacks against him over the past few years and called the Russia probe "bullshit."

He repeated his longstanding criticisms of the impeachment, calling it a "witch hunt" launched and conducted by "bad people," "dirty cops" and "liars" whose only goal was to remove him from office and supposedly "overturn" the results of the 2016 election.

"It was Russia, Russia, Russia - it was all bullshit," Trump said, speaking extemporaneously and likening the GOP effort to acquit him of the impeachment charges to a "battle" or a "war."

"Nancy Pelosi is a horrible person," Trump said, referring to the Democratic speaker of the House who launched impeachment proceedings against him last December after an intelligence agency whistleblower filed a complaint against the president for exerting improper pressure on Ukraine last July.

"(Democrats) are vicious people," he said.

Trump also singled out Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell - who was sitting in the front row in the East Room of the White House, where Trump spoke and was welcomed with a standing ovation by dozens of supporters, including specially invited GOP lawmakers, who were gathered there, saying "Mitch McConnell, I want to tell you, you did a fantastic job."

McConnell then received a loud ovation and stood to thank the crowd, and Trump continued "This guy is great. I appreciate it, Mitch."

"We went through hell, unfairly. We did nothing wrong," said Trump, also saying that "This is not really a news conference or a speech, it's not anything. It's more of a celebration."

The president said that impeachment was a very "ugly word" to him, but in his rambling remarks he was obviously reveling in his acquittal, calling it "total."

He also mocked Robert Mueller, who headed the Russia probe to determine if anyone in Trump's 2016 presidential campaign had colluded with the Kremlin to help him win the election, called Democrats "vicious as hell" and "lousy" politicians and predicted that they will "probably come back for more."

The president also lambasted "illegal aliens" and the Democrats' Iowa caucus fiasco, along with former FBI Director James Comey. He also held up a Washington Post front page with the headline "Trump acquitted" on it and praised many of the Republicans who defended him during the impeachment hearings in the House and the trial in the Senate.

He also lashed out at Utah Republican Sen. Mitt Romney, who voted with the Democrats on the first article of impeachment, on abuse of power, thereby becoming the only US lawmaker ever to vote to remove a president of his own party from office over impeachable offenses.

Toward the end of his one-hour monologue, Trump told his listeners - who included Cabinet members, the attorneys who defended him in the Senate, conservative pro-Trump media personalities, first lady Melania Trump and daughter Ivanka - that "we went through hell," and that his "sick," "rotten" liberal political enemies in Congress are still intent on trying to "destroy our country."

All during his remarks, which were received with smiles and enthusiasm from those present, Trump did not admit to any type of negligence or wrongdoing, once again calling the July 25 telephone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky a "perfect" call - although this was the occasion on which he had pressured Kyiv to launch a corruption investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden, who may well be the Democratic presidential nominee in the 2020 election, and the incident that prompted the whistleblower to file his complaint that ultimately led to impeachment.

Earlier on Thursday, Trump attended the National Prayer Breakfast, where he attacked his political rivals and claimed that they had inappropriately invoked "their faith as justification" for their decisions to vote to remove him from office.

It appeared that Trump was referring to Pelosi and Romney, who both have said that their faith guided them to the decision on why Trump needed to be impeached.

"I don't like people who use their faith as justification for doing what they know is wrong," Trump added. "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."

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