This article originally appeared on VICE US.
Fresh off his impeachment acquittal, President Donald Trump took the podium at the 68th annual National Prayer Breakfast to pay homage to the venerable Christian virtue of … hatred.
“We’re grateful to the people in this room for the love they show to religion,” Trump said Thursday morning. “They’re brave, they're brilliant, they’re fighters, they like people, and sometimes they hate people.”
“I’m sorry, I apologize. I’m trying to learn. It’s not easy. When they impeach you for nothing and then you’re supposed to like them, it’s not easy, folks,” he added. “I do my best.”
The president used his speech at the prayer breakfast, a confab of faith leaders held annually since the 1950s, to take a victory lap after the Senate voted to acquit him of both impeachment charges on Wednesday, which brought his i trial to its expected end. As he took the stage, he held up copies of Thursday’s editions of USA Today and the Washington Post, headlined “Trump Acquitted.”
And those people Trump hates (ahem, Democrats — and maybe Mitt Romney), he unloaded on them.
“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,” Trump said. “They have done everything possible to destroy us, and by so doing, have very badly hurt our nation.”
Surrounded by faith leaders from over a 100 countries, Trump bragged about his accomplishments and propped them up with exaggerated figures.
“American satisfaction is at the highest level ever recorded, can you imagine. And that’s from Gallup, no friend of mine,” he said. “Ninety percent of Americans say they are satisfied with their personal lives,” he said.
The poll did find that “satisfaction” is up, but it’s not at a record high. Only 41% percent of respondents said they were satisfied with the way things were going.
During his State of the Union address Tuesday, Trump harped on the economic boom he’s delivered and declared that America had once again, returned to its former greatness. Republicans, unsurprisingly, love it.
At the prayer breakfast Thursday Trump continued patting himself on the back. The economy is doing so well, he said, that employers are hiring prisoners to work for them.
“These prisoners have done an incredible job,” he said. “The employers are saying why didn’t I do this 20 years ago?”
The president might not totally have a handle on the virtues of Christianity. But after getting out from under several investigations, one thing he can get behind are second chances.
“It’s an incredible thing what’s happening with people who are given a second chance or sometimes a third chance, in all fairness,” he said.
Cover image: President Donald Trump holds up a newspaper with the headline that reads "ACQUITTED" at the 68th annual National Prayer Breakfast, at the Washington Hilton, Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)