Speaker Nancy Pelosi used her weekly news conference to again tear into President Donald Trump, calling his remarks at a prayer breakfast Thursday both “inappropriate” and “without class.”
Pelosi said Trump’s criticism at the National Prayer Breakfast of Sen. Mitt Romney ofUtah, the only Republican to vote to convict the president in his impeachment trial Wednesday, was particularly offensive.
“I thought what he said about Sen. Romney was particularly without class,” Pelosi told reporters later Thursday. “It’s so inappropriate at a prayer breakfast.”
Romney gave an emotional speech on Wednesday before the vote, explaining that his faith was a guiding principle in what he described as the hardest decision of his life. He voted to convict Trump on a charge of abuse of power but to acquit him on the obstruction of Congress charge.
The Utah Republican faced swift blowback after announcing his decision, with Donald Trump Jr. calling for Romney’s ouster from the GOP caucus.
"I don't like people who use their faith as justification for doing what they know is wrong," President Donald Trump said during his speech at the breakfast.
"Nor do I like people who say, 'I pray for you,' when they know that that's not so,” he added, taking an obvious shot at Pelosi, who often says she prays for the president.
Later Thursday, at a victory lap celebrating his impeachment acquittal, Trump said: "I had Nancy Pelosi sitting four seats away, and I'm saying things that a lot of people wouldn't have said. But I meant everything. I meant every word of it."
The long-simmering feud between the two leaders was reignited Tuesday after Trump appeared to refuse to shake Pelosi’s hand at the State of the Union and she later ripped up his speech, all on national television.
Pelosi then ripped into Trump during a private meeting of Democrats on Wednesday morning, hours before the Senate voted to acquit the president on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Trump shot back Thursday, holding up newspapers announcing his acquittal as he walked onstage and then taking shots at Romney and Pelosi during his speech.
“To go into the stock market and raising up his acquittal thing and mischaracterizing other people’s motivation, he’s talking about things that he knows little about: faith and prayer,” Pelosi said.
Pelosi has rarely held back from criticizing the president when she has thought it warranted. But the speaker’s sustained criticisms this week are a signal that the feud between Trump and Pelosi is only likely to intensify in the months leading up until the election.
“I don’t need any lessons from anybody, especially the president of the United States, about dignity,” Pelosi said Thursday, adding she feels “liberated” now. “I feel that I’ve extended every possible courtesy, I’ve shown every level of respect.”
The speaker also chided Republicans for breaking out into chants of “four more years” during Trump’s State of the Union address Tuesday night.
“By the way, a serious breach to start shouting 'four more years' on the floor of the House — totally inappropriate,” she said.
And Pelosi said she and other Democrats thought that when Trump’s State of the Union speech veered into talking about a “special” and “beloved” man battling cancer that he was going to honor Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), a civil rights icon who is battling advanced pancreatic cancer.
Instead, Trump meant Rush Limbaugh, a conservative radio host who has been accused of making racist, sexist and anti-LGBTQ remarks on his show. Trump awarded Limbaugh, who has advanced lung cancer, with the Presidential Medal of Freedom — the nation's highest civilian honor — in the middle of his annual address.
“Do it in your own office. We don’t come in your office and do congressional business. Why are you doing that here?” Pelosi said. “That was not a State of the Union, that was his state of mind.”