If you missed President Donald Trump’s address to the nation Thursday, the first since being acquitted in his Senate impeachment trial, you missed a lot.
The speech, which appeared unscripted, focused on applauding and congratulating Trump’s Republican allies in the House of Representatives and the Senate. Many of them filled the East Room of the White House, where Trump was speaking, and they frequently rewarded Trump’s praise and remarks with standing ovations.
But, as Trump is known to do, he went on more than a few tangents. Here are a few of the wildest moments from the address:
“It was all bulls—”
As he did earlier in the morning at the National Prayer Breakfast, President Trump held up Thursday’s edition of the Washington Post with the front page headline “Trump acquitted.” (It’s not clear who fetched him that copy of the paper, as he ordered the cancellation of all federal agencies’ subscriptions to the Post and the New York Times in October 2019.)
Then, speaking of the impeachment inquiry, the president said, “Russia, Russia, Russia… it was all bulls—.”
Loving on Jim Jordan
While thanking Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, for his staunch support, Trump took a detour to talk about Jordan’s physical appearance.
“When I first got to know Jim, I said, ‘Huh, he never wears a jacket. What the hell’s going on?'” Trump said. “He’s obviously very proud of his body.
“They say where he works out … the machine starts burning.”
Trump then spoke at length about Jordan’s ears, his collegiate wrestling career and a group of starstruck college wrestlers that met Jordan and Trump at the White House.
A bit on Scalise’s shooting
Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., was one of Trump’s supporters in attendance Thursday. Scalise was one of four people shot at a Congressional baseball practice in 2017.
Speaking of the attack, Trump said, “He got whacked.” Trump then launched into a bit about how he knew Scalise’s wife really loved him when he saw how inconsolable she was at the hospital as he underwent surgery.
“She was devastated. A lot of wives wouldn’t give a damn.”
“Honestly I think you’re better looking now. You’re more handsome now. You weren’t that good looking. You look good now,” he joked.
“The top scum”
At several points in his speech, Trump returned to the 2017 firing of FBI Director James Comey, calling him a “sleazebag” and “the top scum.”
The firing was one key element in Democrats’ charges that Trump was trying to obstruct the investigation into Russian meddling in the U.S. election. Trump appeared to brag about the firing Thursday, implying it may have saved his presidency.
“Had I not fired James Comey… it’s possible I wouldn’t even be standing here right now,” the president said.
Ragging on Romney
Unsurprisingly, Trump took a few moment to address Sen. Mitt Romney’s vote Wednesday to convict the president on one of two counts in the impeachment trial. The Utah senator voted to convict Trump on abuse of power and to acquit him on obstruction of justice. In doing so, he was the only Republican senator to cast a vote in favor of conviction.
In explaining his choice, Romney has cited his strong religious faith (he is a practicing Mormon) and the need to vote his conscience. In his speech Thursday, Trump accused Romney of using “religion as a crutch.”
“I’ve never heard him use it before, but today you know it’s one of those things. But you know, it’s a failed presidential candidate so things can happen when you fail so badly running for president.”
Over the years, Romney has open about his religious faith and how it helps guide him.
Stefanik “looks good”
Calling on another Republican supporter in the audience, Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., Trump said, “I thought she looks good, she looks like good talent. But I did not realize when she opens that mouth, you are killing them, Elise.”
Stefanik stood to receive applause.
Trump also revisited the scandal of exchanged text messages between former FBI Agent Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. In doing so, Trump made a reference to Page’s looks.
Trump also called Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi a “horrible person” in a continuation of their conflict, which escalated Thursday morning at the National Prayer Breakfast.
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