Donald Trump is vindicated and ready to think about seeking retribution for his impeachment, the White House press secretary said, ahead of the president's first post-impeachment address to the nation.
As Trump prepared to make public remarks on Thursday, Stephanie Grisham said in an interview with Fox News that Trump gave a preview of his speech at the National Prayer Breakfast -- a gathering of politicians and religious leaders -- earlier in the morning. She said Trump was expressing some humility after he and his family had been through the difficult impeachment process that ended with Wednesday's acquittal, but added that he also had payback on his mind.
Grisham said in a clip posted to Twitter that the president was planning to speak about how badly he believed he had been treated during the impeachment investigation and trial and how "maybe people should pay for that."Some payback may have already begun. Trump, his family member, and his allies attacked Utah Senator Mitt Romney after his vote to convict Trump. As CNN reported, the president took aim at Romney at Thursday's Prayer Breakfast. Though Trump did not mention Romney by name, he called out both the Utah senator and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a devout Catholic who was also in attendance at the event.
Trump appeared to mock Pelosi's past statements that she was praying for Trump, implying that she was lying when she claimed to do so.
Others in Trump's inner circle have joined in on the post-impeachment attacks. Donald Trump Jr. shared an image of Romney on Instagram that called the former Republican presidential nominee a "p*ssy".
"Mitt Romney is forever bitter that he will never be POTUS. He was too weak to beat the Democrats then so he's joining them now," he wrote. "He's now officially a member of the resistance & should be expelled from the GOP."
There had been some hope among members of his party that Trump would be contrite after his acquittal. As Vox reported, Maine Senator Susan Collins said she believed that getting impeached was a big lesson for Trump and that he would "be much more cautious in the future" in his conduct with foreign nations. When Trump was asked about Collins' statement and whether he had learned a lesson, Trump insisted that he did no wrong in pressuring the Ukrainian president to launch an investigation of Joe Biden and that he had a "perfect call."