Trump then addressed the impeachment trial and the fact that he was just acquitted. “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. They have done everything possible to destroy us and by so doing, very badly hurt our nation.”
“I don’t like people who use their faith as justification for doing what they know is wrong. Nor do I like people who say ‘I pray for you’ when they know that that’s not so,” Trump continued. Many will understand this as a jab at Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, who was sitting just to the President’s left.
Trump lifted up Mike and Karen Pence (also sitting to his left) as people whose faith “inspires us all.” The President also spent time speaking about his administration’s accomplishments, including the steps they took to defend “the Constitutional right to pray in public schools.” He mentioned reinstating the Mexico City policy and doing away with the Johnson Amendment. Trump also mentioned the recent effort his administration undertook to stop tax payer funding that might support anti-semitism and “bad things about Christianity” on college campuses.
Additionally, the President touted his administration’s efforts at “upholding the sanctity of life,” emphasizing that “every child is a sacred gift from God.” The topic of prison reform also came up. Trump mentioned his administration’s efforts to stand up for persecuted Christians and religious minorities all around the world. Citing recent events, Trump mentioned hosting opposition leader Juan Guaido and supporting Venezuela in their “righteous struggle for freedom.”
A major theme in the President’s remarks is his belief that “Faith is alive and well and thriving in America, and we’re going to keep it that way.” Introducing a special guest, Trump drew attention to Rev. Gerald Toussaint, the pastor of Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in Louisiana. Toussaint’s church was among three black churches that were targeted by an arsonist last year. Trump commended the pastor and veteran for his resilience and desire to rebuild the church. He also said “America is eternally in the debt of our African American churches” for things like the pursuit of justice and societal progress.
Rounding out his comments, Trump brought his thoughts back to Brooks’ advice about loving one’s enemies. Jokingly, Trump said that advice might be a little hard for him to practice. “When they impeach you for nothing, and then you’re supposed to like them, it’s not easy, folks!” Audible laughter could be heard in the room. “I do my best,” the President concluded.