The White House had announced that the president would speak at noon today about his acquittal, but Donald Trump decided to offer a preview at the National Prayer Breakfast this morning. After avoiding a handshake opportunity with Nancy Pelosi, Trump held up two newspapers with banner headlines on his acquittal yesterday. Taking the podium, Trump accused House and Senate Democrats of trying to “destroy us” and damaging the nation in their partisan zeal:

So much for a bagel and shmear. Without naming names, Trump took a couple of shots at Pelosi and Mitt Romney for using their faith to explain their actions. This captures the heart of Trump’s remarks on his impeachment, and note how the C-SPAN cameraman pulls back to include a stone-faced Pelosi in the shot as Trump made her an obvious target:

The President thanked “courageous Republican politicians and leaders (who) had the wisdom, fortitude and strength to do what everyone knows was right.”

He then obliquely referenced Romney and Pelosi.

“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’s not so. So many people have been hurt and we can’t let that go on,” Trump said. Pelosi has previously said she prays for the President daily.

Trump wrapped up his remarks by telling the prayer gathering that he finds it difficult to love his enemies. “When they impeach you for nothing,” Trump said, “then it’s not easy to like them. I do my best,” he concluded, “but it’s not easy.” Clearly, but it’s not supposed to be easy, either. If it was easy, then everyone would be doing that rather than blowing off handshakes, ripping up speeches, and obsessing over each others’ faults while ignoring their own.

If this seems like strange fodder for a speech at a faith gathering, Trump did touch on a couple of other matters, but mostly within the realm of politics. Trump repeated his claim from the State of the Union speech that the world has increased respect for the US after three years of his policies, and also turned to abortion and the pro-life cause, at least obliquely:

Trump certainly has a right to his opinions and a rebuttal, but this wasn’t the place or time for either. The National Prayer Breakfast has its own purpose — it’s political to a point, but it’s also intended to promote bipartisanship and fellowship in faith. Do his remarks on impeachment preview what will be coming at noon in his response to the acquittal? If that’s what Trump has to say at a prayer breakfast, get ready for the paint to peel, I suppose.