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US President Donald Trump has taken a victory lap one day after his impeachment acquittal, in a White House tirade against his political enemies.
“I’ve done things wrong in my life, I will admit… but this is what the end result is,” he said as he held up a newspaper headlined “Trump acquitted”.
“We went through hell, unfairly. We did nothing wrong,” he said at the White House. “It was evil, it was corrupt.”
He earlier criticised his impeachment foes who invoked their religious faith.
“Now we have that gorgeous word. I never thought it would sound so good,” Mr Trump said from the East Room, which was crammed with supporters and cabinet officials.
“It’s called ‘total acquittal’.”
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Republicans packed the White House East Room where Mr Trump spoke
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Mr Trump thanked his lawyers and Republican lawmakers
Mr Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives in December for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, but was acquitted on Wednesday after a two-week trial in the Republican-controlled Senate which did not include any witnesses.
He also predicted that the Democrats could impeach him for a second time, even for a minor crime.
“He is going to be impeached for jaywalking. Any mistake the president makes they will impeach him on.”
“We’ll probably have to do it again because these people have gone stone-cold crazy,” the president said.
Mr Trump also used a swear word to describe the justice department inquiry into whether his 2016 election campaign had colluded with the Kremlin.
Media captionTrump attacks Romney at National Prayer Breakfast
Earlier in the day, Mr Trump spoke during the National Prayer Breakfast, an annual cross-party event in Washington DC to celebrate religious freedom.
“They have done everything possible to destroy us and by so doing very badly hurt our nation,” he said.
He went on to describe his impeachment as a “terrible ordeal” perpetrated by “very dishonest and corrupt people” who “put themselves ahead of our great country”.
Media captionThe impeachment saga from beginning to end
Reacting to Mr Trump’s prayer speech, Democratic Speaker of the House Pelosi, who sat only four chairs away from Mr Trump as he spoke, told reporters: “He’s impeached forever, no matter what he says or whatever headlines he wants to carry around.
“You’re impeached forever. You’re never getting rid of that scar. And history will always record that you were impeached for undermining the security of our country, jeopardising the integrity of our elections and violating the Constitution of the United States.”