President Trump singled out Senator Mitt Romney (R., Utah) during a speech at the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday, saying “I don’t like people who use their faith as justification for doing what they know is wrong.”
Romney, the only Republican from either chamber of Congress to support Trump’s impeachment, voted Wednesday to convict Trump on the first “abuse of power” article.
Explaining the decision in an interview with The Atlantic, Romney called his vote “the most difficult decision I have ever had to make in my life,” but said his Senate oath, taken before God to uphold and defend the Constitution, drove his conviction.
“I have gone through a process of very thorough analysis and searching, and I have prayed through this process,” Romney explained. “But I don’t pretend that God told me what to do . . . I’m subject to my own conscience.”
Trump took to Twitter after midnight Wednesday to slam Romney for the move. “Had failed presidential candidate @MittRomney devoted the same energy and anger to defeating a faltering Barack Obama as he sanctimoniously does to me, he could have won the election,” Trump, who endorsed Romney’s Utah Senate run in 2018, tweeted.
Romney’s fellow Republicans also criticized the decision, with some taking aim at the Senator himself, while others took a more conciliatory tone.
Speaking at the prayer breakfast, Trump also took an apparent shot at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who was in attendance.
“Nor do I like people who say ‘I pray for you’ when you know that is not so,” Trump said, in reference to Pelosi’s comment to a reporter in December.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rebukes a reporter who asked if she "hates" Trump: "I don't hate anyone. I was raised in a way that is a heart full of love and always pray for the President. … So don't mess with me when it comes to words like that" https://t.co/yWJRPBQJN2 pic.twitter.com/0tIphvrYYB
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) December 5, 2019
“When they impeach you for nothing, you’re supposed to like them? It’s not easy folks, but I’m doing my best,” Trump concluded.