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Thursday, February 6, 2020

Read Trump’s bananas, post-impeachment victory lap speech

President Trump Delivers Statement On Senate Impeachment Trial’s AcquittalPresident Donald Trump holds up a newspaper at the White House on February 6, 2020, one day after the Senate acquitted him on two articles of impeachment. | Mark Wilson/Getty Images

What was that?

President Donald Trump was always going to take a victory lap following his triumphant State of the Union and his acquittal in the Senate.

But his White House speech on Thursday — billed as a public statement to “discuss our Country’s VICTORY on the Impeachment Hoax!” — was, well, who even knows.

The rambling, stream-of-consciousness, more-than-hourlong “speech” touched on the usual grievances: Russia, Mueller, witch hunts, impeachment. “It was all bullshit,” the president said in the East Room of the White House.

But if that were the end of it, that would have been, well, kind of normal.

Instead, Trump leapt from topic to topic, calling out random members of the Senate, House, and Cabinet with weird biographical details, including a Chuck Grassley impression.

At one point, he referenced the NCAA and Rep. Jim Jordan’s lack of a sport jacket. At another, he talked about Rep. Devin Nunes going into dungeons to get documents. The transcript is below, if you want to even attempt to make sense of this.

This is the State of the Union that Trump probably wanted to give — a slam-poetry session of weeks’ worth of frustration and complaints. “But now we have that gorgeous word,” Trump said. “I never thought that word would ever sound so good. It’s called total acquittal.”

“Total acquittal” is two words, of course, which might give you a sense of how this thing went. The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman reported that the president had a draft of his remarks, but it was quite clear from the moment he began talking that he wasn’t going to stick to any script.

Below is a rush transcript of Trump’s post-impeachment speech:

Thank you very much, everybody. We’ve all been through a lot together, and we probably deserve that hand for all of us because it’s been a very unfair situation. I invited some of our very good friends, and we have limited room, but everybody wanted to come. We kept it down to a minimum, and believe it or not, this is a minimum.

But a tremendous thing was done over the last number of months, but really, if you go back to it, over the last number of years. We had the witch hunt. It started from the day we came down the elevator, myself and our future first lady, who is with us right now. Thank you, Melania. [Cheers and applause]

And it never really stopped. We’ve been going through this now for over three years. It was evil, it was corrupt, it was dirty cops, it was leakers and liars, and this should never, ever happen to another president, ever. I don’t know that other presidents would have been able to take it. Some people said, no, they wouldn’t have.

But I can tell you, at a minimum, you have to focus on this because it can get away very quickly no matter who you have with you. It can get away very quickly. It was a disgrace. Had I not fired James Comey, who was a disaster, by the way, it’s possible I wouldn’t even be standing here right now. We caught him in the act. Dirty cops. Bad people. If this happened to President Obama, a lot of people would have been in jail for a long time already. Many, many years. I want to start by thanking — I call them friends because, you know, you develop friendships and relationships when you’re in battle and war much more so than in a normal situation.

We’ve gone through more than any president or administration, and really, I say for the most part, Republican congressmen, congresswomen and Republican senators, we’ve done more than any administration in the first few years. You look at all of the things we’ve done. I watched this morning as they tried to take credit for the stock market from — let me tell you, if we didn’t win, the stock market would have crashed.

The market was going up a lot before the election because it looked like we had a good chance to win. Then it went up tremendously from the time we won the election to the time we took office, which was November 8 to January 20, and that’s all our credit. And leading up to that point was our credit because there was hope, and one of the reasons the stock market has gone up so much in the last few days is people think we’re doing so well, they liked the State of the Union speech.

It really is, it’s a true honor given, and making the State of the Union speech, I was with some people that have been around, they’ve been all over the world. A highly sophisticated person said, you know, no matter where you go in the world, it doesn’t make any difference. There was nothing like what I witnessed tonight, the beauty, the majesty of the chamber, the power of the United States, the power of the people in this room.

Really an amazing evening. I don’t think there was anything like that anywhere in the world. You can go to any other country, any other location, any other place. It’s the beauty of everything. It’s what it represents and how it represents our country. I want to start by introducing some of the people that are here. I know some are going to be left out, but they worked so hard.

And this is really not a news conference, it’s not a speech, it’s not anything, it’s just we’re sort of — it’s a celebration because we have something that just worked out. It worked out. We went through hell unfairly. Did nothing wrong. Did nothing wrong. I’ve done things wrong in my life, I will admit. Not purposely, but I’ve done things wrong. But this is what the end result is. [Cheers and applause]

We can take that home, honey, maybe we’ll frame it. It’s the only good headline I’ve had in the “Washington Post.” Every paper is the same, does anybody have them, because they’re all like that and I appreciate that. Some of the people here have been incredible warriors, they’re warriors. And there’s nothing from a legal standpoint. This is a political thing, and every time I say this is unfair, let’s go to court, they say, sir, you can’t go to court, this is politics. And we were treated unbelievably unfairly, and you have to understand we first went through Russia, Russia, Russia. It was all bullshit.

We then went through the Mueller report, and they should have come back one day later. They didn’t, they came back two years later after lives were ruined, after people went bankrupt, after people lost all their money. People came to Washington to help other people. Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, I’d say. They came, one or two or three people in particular, but many people.

We had a rough campaign. It was nasty. It was one of the nastiest, they say. Andrew Jackson was the nastiest campaign but we topped it. It was nasty in both the primaries and the election. We thought after the election, it would stop, but it didn’t stop. It just started. Tremendous corruption. Tremendous corruption. So we had a campaign. Little did we know we were running against some very, very bad and evil people with fake dossiers, with all of these horrible, dirty cops that took these dossiers and did bad things. They knew all about it. The FISA courts should be ashamed of themselves. It’s a very tough thing.

And then we ended up winning on Russia, Russia, Russia. It should have taken the one day, as they said, and it took years. Bob Mueller testified. That didn’t work out so well for the other side. But they should have said that first week, because it came out — is that right, Jim Jordan? They knew in the first two days, actually — Devin, is that right? Two days they knew we were totally innocent. But they kept it going. Mark? They kept it going forever because they wanted to inflict political pain on somebody that had just won an election that, to a lot of people, was a surprise.

We had polls that said we were going to win, we had the Los Angeles Times and a few papers, actually, said we were going to win, but it was going to be close. We did win. It was one of the greatest wins of all time, and they said, okay, he won. And, you know, I wrote this down because that was where a thing called the insurance policy to me. When I saw the insurance policy, and that was done long before the election, that was done when they thought that Hillary Clinton was going to win.

And by the way, Hillary Clinton and the DNC paid for millions of dollars for a fake dossier, and now Christopher Steele admits that it’s a fake because he got sued by rich people. I should have sued him, too, but when you’re president, people don’t like suing. I want to thank my legal team, by the way, not for that advice, but for other advice. [Cheers and applause]

Pat [Cipollone], Jay, Pat. You guys stand up.

Great job. Right at the beginning, they said, sir, you have nothing to worry about. All of the facts are on your side. I said, you don’t understand. That doesn’t matter. That doesn’t matter. And that was really true. They made up facts. A corrupt politician named Adam Schiff made up my statement to the Ukrainian president. He brought it out of thin air. Just made it up. They say, he’s a screenwriter, a failed screenwriter. Unfortunately he went into politics after that. He said, don’t call me, I’ll call you. Fortunately for all of us here in our country, we had transcribers, professional transcribers.

Then they said, well, maybe the transcription is not correct. But lieutenant colonel Vindman and his twin brother, we had some people that were really amazing, but we did everything. I said, what was wrong with it? They said, they didn’t add this word. I said, add it. They’re probably wrong, but add it. So not everybody believes they’re completely accurate. When you read those transcripts, Tim Scott, I don’t know if Tim is here, but he was the first one to call me. He said, sir, I read the transcript. You did nothing wrong.

And, Mitch, he stayed there right from the very beginning. He never changed. And Mitch McConnell, I want to tell you, you did a fantastic job. [Cheers and applause]

Somebody said, you know, Mitch is quiet. I said, he’s not quiet. He’s not quiet. He doesn’t want people to know him. And they said, is Mitch smart? I said, well, let’s put it this way. For many, many years, a lot of very smart, bad in many cases, sometimes good people have been trying to take his place, and to the best of my knowledge, I’ve never even heard the subject come up, because they’ve been wiped out so fast. This guy is great, and I appreciate it, Mitch. And he’s also given us 191 federal judges, two supreme court judges. We’re up to 191. Great guy. He’s a tough guy to read. I’m good at reading people. Tough guy to read.

I call ‘em. They said, how did you do with Mitch? I don’t know. That’s what makes him good, when you can read somebody. Fantastic job. And he understood right from the beginning this was crooked politics. This was crooked politics. How about all these people? They’re running for office, they’re saying the worst things about me, like eight senators on the Democrat side.

Most of them got wiped out. They got their 1 percent or less. Most of them got less. Decided to go home. Let’s go back to California. Let’s go back to wherever they came from. Let’s go back to New York. How about that one? Our New York senator, Gillibrand. Then they take an oath that they will be fair on everything they sign. They’re not fair. But here’s the beauty. We have four left. They’re saying the most horrendous things.

It’s okay, it’s politics. Then they’re supposed to vote on me. They tried to replace me and then they’re supposed to be voting. So I think — I mean, I think it’s incredible. So, Mitch, I wanted to thank you very much. Incredible. You have some of your folks here and they’re incredible people. They’ve been there right from the beginning, and again, you’re out of session. I only told these folks let’s do this today.

We did a prayer breakfast this morning, and I thought that was really good. In fact, that was so good it might wipe this out. But by the time we finish this, we’ll wipe that one out, those statements. I had Nancy Pelosi sitting four seats away, and I’m saying things that a lot of people wouldn’t have said, but I meant every word, okay? But we have some of the folks that are going to be leaving right after this, and they work hard, and they did work hard. Bill Cassidy, senator. Stand up, Bill. What a guy.

Great man. When I need to know about health insurance and preexisting conditions and individual mandates, I call Bill or I call [John] Barrasso. Those two guys know more than anybody. A man who just became a senator — he’s a little bit like me. We have a couple of them. Very successful guy in business and he said, what the hell? I’ll run for the senate from Indiana.

And he ran, and I saw him on television destroying his opponent in a debate. I said, this guy could win, and I got behind him. Mark Braun, you have done some great job. Thank you very much. A man who got James Comey to choke, and he was just talking in his regular voice. He’s the roughest man — he’s actually an unbelievable — and I appreciate the letter you sent me today. I just got it.

But he’s got this voice that scares people. You know, people from Iowa can be very tough. We’re doing very well in Iowa, but I tell you, Chuck Grassley, he’s looking to tell me, now, you tell me, what did you say? He’s not being rough, that’s just the way he talks. I think that’s when Comey announced he was leaking, lying and everything else, right? He choked because he never heard I — anybody talk like that. He could have given up. Chuck Grassley is an incredible guy. [Cheers and applause]

And a man who is running against a tough, smart campaign. We learned how good she was, right? A great campaigner. At the end of the campaign, I thought she was more for me than you were, Josh. She was saying the greatest things about me. You know who I’m talking about. And I went to a great place, Missouri, and I said, who do you have to beat her? And they said, well, we have four people. I said, let me see them. Can you imagine I’m interviewing people for the United States senate. This is what I do. Where have I gone? But I love it. I love it because we’re getting great people. The first one I met was Josh Hawley.

He was the attorney general, did a phenomenal job in the state, highly respected. And Claire McCaskill. The theory was you couldn’t beat her. Great campaigner, remember the last campaign she was going to be taken out, and she wins and people say, how did that happen? It didn’t happen with him. But she got so friendly toward me.

In fact, one of the ads I still have, I’m putting it in the archives as one of the best ads I’ve ever made, and she tried to convince people that we were best friends, but Josh ended up winning by five or six points. You were unbelievable, you were tough and one of the greatest supporters on the impeachment hooks was Josh Holley. He was incensed at what they were doing and what they were saying. I had some who said, well, I wish you didn’t make the call. That’s okay if they need that. It’s incorrect, it’s totally incorrect.

Then you have some who used religion as a crutch. They never used it before. An article written today. Never heard him use it before. But today, you know, it’s one of those things. It’s a failed presidential candidate, so things can happen when you fail so badly running for president. But Josh Hawley, I want to thank you. You were right from the beginning. Man, did I make a good choice. Thank you, Josh. Tremendous future.

A man who is brilliant and who actually was deceived to an extent, comes from a great state, Utah, where my poll numbers have gone through the roof, and one of the senators’ poll numbers, not this one, went down big. You saw that, Mike? But Mike is a brilliant guy. He’s difficult. Whenever I sign those — we do sign a lot of legislation, and it’s big and powerful, but everybody has to approve it. I see 99 to 1. 99 to 1. I say, don’t tell me who is the one. Is it Mike?

Yes. And he always has a good reason for it, too, by the way. But he is, he’s incredible. And right at the beginning, he knew we were right, Mike, and I appreciate it very much. You’re just fantastic. Say hello to the people of Utah and tell them I’m sorry about Mitt Romney. I’m sorry. Okay? [Cheers and applause]

We can say Mike Lee by far is the most popular senator from the state. You’ve done a great job in many ways. A young woman who I didn’t know at all but she’s been so supportive, and I’ve had great support from other people in that state, and she’s been so supportive, and she’s been downright nasty and mean about the unfairness to the president. And Kelly Loeffler, I appreciate it very much. Thank you.

She saw it very early on. I don’t know if we have other senators here, we have other congressmen, I’ll go over them quickly. It helped when we won 197 to 0. That’s got to be a first, Kevin, right? Is that like a first? The Republicans have this image — see, I say Democrats are lousy politicians because they have lousy policy. Open borders, sanctuary cities, they have horrible policy.

Who the hell — oh, the new policy is raise taxes. They want to raise taxes. All my life I wasn’t in politics, but I would say, if you’re a politician, you want to say we’re going to lower taxes. They want to raise taxes. So they have open borders, sanctuary cities, raise everybody’s taxes. Get rid of everybody’s health care, 180 million people in the United States and they’re really happy, and we’re going to give you health care that’s going to cost more money than the country can make in 30 years if it really does well.

So I always say they’re lousy politicians, but they do two things. They’re vicious and mean. Vicious. Adam Schiff is a vicious, horrible person. Nancy Pelosi is a horrible person. And she wanted to impeach a long time ago when she said, I pray for the president. She doesn’t pray. She may pray but she prays for the opposite. But I doubt she prays at all. These are vicious people.

But they do two things. They stick together. Historically, I’m not talking now. They stick together like glue. That’s how they impeached, because they had whatever the number is, 220 people, so they don’t lose anybody, they’ll be able to impeach anybody. You could be George Washington. You could have just won the war and they say let’s get him out of office. And they stuck together and they’re vicious as hell.

And they’ll probably come back for more but maybe not, because the Republican party’s poll numbers, Mitch, have now gone up more than any time, I think, since 2004-2005, and you know what happened then. But in normal times, decades, you would call it, that was a little unusual time. It was for a very short period. The Republicans’ party poll numbers and Donald Trump’s poll numbers are the highest I’ve ever had. [Applause]

It’s no way to get your poll numbers up because it’s been very unfair for my family, it’s been very unfair to the country. Think of it. A phone call. A very good phone call. I know bad phone calls. This is a phone call where many people — I think Mike Pompeo was probably on the call, many people were on the call.

I know that many people. They have an apprentii. In the case of Ukraine, he’s a new president. He seems like a very nice person, by the way. His whole thing was he was going to stop corruption. We even have a treaty, 2001, 1999, a signed treaty to say we will work together to remove corruption in Ukraine. I probably have an obligation, Mr. Attorney, to report corruption.

But they don’t think it’s corrupt when a son that made no military, that had no money at all, is working for $300 million up and it goes to Romania and other countries. Is ivanka in the audience? My kids could make a fortune. It’s corrupt. But it’s not even that, it’s just general corruption.

And the other thing is mentioned in the call, and something I’ve told Mike Pence, our great vice president, I would tell him all the time and I told him when we were on the trip. Because he was over there. He never mentioned anything about this when you had your meeting. It’s a terrible thing, but and you’re always torn about that. We have our countries to build on. But tell me, why isn’t Belgium paying? Why isn’t France?

Tell me what’s going on. I told that to all my people, OMB [the Office of Management and Budget]. I asked that question, how come Germany isn’t paying? Why isn’t Germany paying? Why is the United States always the sucker. Because we’re a bunch of suckers. But that’s turning around fast. But it makes it harder when stuff like this happens, because you want to focus perfectly.

Imagine what we could have done. Drug prices. Think of what we could have done if we had the same genius — because it’s genius. I will say it’s genius on the other side, maybe even more so, they took nothing and voted me for impeachment. They took a phone call, which was a totally appropriate call, and they brought me to the final stages of impeachment.

But now we have that gorgeous word. I never thought that word would ever sound so good. It’s called total acquittal. So I want to, if I could real fast, just introduce a few other people. I have to start with Kevin. Man, did you do a job. Lucky you’re there. Lucky you’re there. Because it wouldn’t have worked out. If you don’t have the right people, I tell you, Kevin McCarthy has done an incredible job. [Applause]

And he loves his job and he loves his country. Mitch and Kevin, they love what they do. Mitch wouldn’t even tell you he liked it. I could say, Mitch, do you like it? I don’t know. He’s the greatest poker player, right? Kevin would say, I love it, right? I’m going to say you’ll be speaker of the house because of this impeachment hoax. I really believe it. I really believe it.

And I’m going to work hard on it. I’m going to try and get out to those trump areas that we won by a lot — and you know, in ‘18, we didn’t win. We just won two seats in North Carolina, two wonderful seats in North Carolina that were not supposed to be won, but I went and I made speeches, and we had rallies and we did a great job and we won — we took two seats. Nobody writes about that. If we lost them, it would have been the biggest story of the year. We’re going to go and do a job and we’re going to win a lot of seats. We’re going to win a lot of seats.

People are very angry that Nancy Pelosi and all these guys — I mean, [Jerry] Nadler, I’ve known him much of my life. He’s fought me in New York for 25 years. I always beat him, and I had to beat him another time, and I’ll probably have to beat him again, because if they find that I happened to walk across the street and maybe go against the light or something, let’s impeach him. So I’ll probably have to do it again because these people have gone stone cold crazy. I’ve beat them all my life and I’ll beat them again if I have to. So Kevin McCarthy has been great. A few names, right? We’re going to do the best we can. I have my cabinet, but my Cabinet is different, I appoint them.

I didn’t see all of them helping so much. You know, they were running their various bureaucracies, right? My cabinet is great and they’re all here, but today is the day to celebrate these great warriors, right? These are great warriors. They really fought hard for us. I’ll start with Kelly Armstrong, North Dakota. Kelly, thank you. Great job. Great job. Jim Banks of Indiana. Jim. Andy Biggs, where is Andy? Boy, oh boy, Andy. There’s a guy. He’s tough. I hear we’re doing well in Arizona, huh? It’s going good, yeah? I saw a poll that was very good for me. I think we have to make sure Martha [McSally] is going to do — we have some states that are going to be not easy. But Arizona has been great and we’re stopping illegal aliens from coming in. We’re putting up walls.

New Mexico, too, a state that’s never been in play for Republicans. Nevada is looking good. We’re doing well. There is more spirit now for the Republican party by far than the Democrats. You know, Mike pence just got back from a place, a beautiful place, that Chuck Grassley knows well. Iowa. And he was talking about the fiasco. The Democrats can’t count some simple votes yet they want to take over your health care system. Think of that. But we also had an election out there and we got 98 percent of the vote. We have two people running, you know. I guess they consider them non-people. One is a governor, but they’re

running. They said, who is that crowd over there? It was trump, right, mark meadows? It was trump. This was a trump crowd. And actually a lot of my guys went to Iowa, and a lot of friends went there, and we had tremendous — they say the spirit for the Republican party right now is stronger, I think, than it’s ever been in the history of our country. I think it’s stronger than it’s ever been. That includes honest Abe Lincoln. A lot of people forget Abe Lincoln. I wish he were here. I would give him one hell of an introduction. He was a Republican. Abe Lincoln. Honest Abe.

Bradley Burn, Alabama. What a great place. A man who has been an unbelievable friend of mine and spokesman and somebody that I really like, and I know, Kelly, you’re going to end up liking him a lot. Something is going to happen that’s going to be very good, I don’t know. I haven’t figured it out yet, but Doug Collins, where is he? You have been so great. Thank you very much. Thank you very much. Thank you. Really amazing job. A young man who was born with a great gene, because I know how great a politician his father was. He’s from Georgia. He’s solid as a rock and he’s a friend of mine, Matt Gaetz. Thank you, Matt. Great job. This guy. So he’s the NCAA, a couple years ago in college, wrestling champ.

That means you’re the best. His record was ridiculous. Nobody could beat him. And I see it. Every time I see it — when I first got to know Jim Jordan, I said, huh? He never wears a jacket. What the hell is going on? He’s obviously very proud of his body. And where the congressmen and senators work out, they said he works out, and it’s a different kind of workout than ours, isn’t it? Look at that guy. One day I’m looking, and he looks tough, and I’m looking at those ears, and I say, those ears have something going on there. Did you ever wrestle? Yeah, I did. He doesn’t talk but I checked.

This guy was a top, top wrestler, and when I had the top, I had all the teams. By the way, your Super Bowl champions are coming, I think, next week or soon, very soon, and every one of them want to be here, and the coach loves us. The coach is great, Andy Reid, and every one of them want to be here. People love it. But we had all the NCAA championship teams here. They had the golf, the basketball, they had every team here. And one of the teams was wrestling, the wrestling team. Was that Penn State? Penn State won the title. They have a great team. I walked up with Jim and it’s like I didn’t exist. Those wrestlers, they grabbed him, they love Jim Jordan, and we love you, too, because you’re some warrior.

A woman who became — we have a couple women that became stars, you two, and I like the name Lesko. I liked it. That’s why I picked it, I liked the name. I saw the face, I saw the name. She had like seven opponents, right? You have no idea how much the public appreciates how smart, how sharp you are. This I can’t tell. I can’t tell. They just said, you know, she’s really good, she’s really talented. I said, let’s go. We worked with her, she won her race — tough race. It’s no longer tough, because what she does out there is incredible. Arizona loves her. But you were so incredible representing — I don’t see me representing our country and getting out of this impeachment hoax. What you did was incredible. Debbie, please stand up, Debbie Lesko.

A man I became very friendly with, I don’t know why. Certain people call, you take their calls. Other people call, if they don’t have information, they won’t take anybody’s call. But other people call, and you duck. This is a guy, he’s just a very special guy. His wife I actually like better than him, to be honest. Because he doesn’t know that I know that he didn’t actually support me right from the beginning, but she did. And on my worst day, right? On my worst day, my worst — I won’t tell you why it was my worst but it was not one of those good days — she went on a bus, got many other buses, and women all over North Carolina and they toured North Carolina semi-supporting another candidate which he ended up because of your wife.

But thank her, and Mark Meadows is an extraordinary guy. The only problem, I guess — he would only win by 40 points, but he was announcing he won’t be running this time. Will someone win your district by at least 20 points, please? He’s an incredibly talented man, not just as a politician but as a human being, he’s incredible. The way he worked, and Jim and all of you guys, the way they worked, it was like their life was at steak. Ron DeSantis is another one. He worked so hard. He called me and said, sir, I’d like to run for governor. Governor? I like you staying here. No, I want to run for governor. Well, if you have to, I’d like your support.

He’s been another great warrior, and by the way, I endorsed him. His numbers went through the roof. The man we expected to win easily called me after the race. He said, you endorsed him and it was like a nuclear bomb went off. He never even spent his money, he saved it. Ron DeSantis is another one and now he’s the governor of Florida. He’s a great governor, he’s a very I want to thank you very much. Many.

And Mike Johnson of Louisiana. You can represent me at any time. What a job you’ve done. Thank you, Mike. And another man we’ve not heard of on the other side. This guy is a nightmare. He goes down into dungeons and basements. He’ll find any document. He took tremendous abuse — the media and the other side and the bad ones, the leakers, the liars, the dirty cops, they want to destroy him. They tried. They got close but he wouldn’t let it happen. And, honestly, in a certain way he was the first one, wouldn’t you say, Jim and mark and everybody? This was the first guy. He came out of nowhere. He’s saying, these people are corrupt. He’s still saying it. He was unbelievable.

Devin Nunes. Unbelievable. [Cheers and applause]

That’s so true, Devin. He would come in and say — I didn’t even know him. I just heard there was this congressman who kept going into a basement, into files. He knew something was wrong. You felt it, right? Now we know a lot more than we knew then, right? You never thought it was as bad as it is, and hopefully we’re going to take care of things, because we can never, ever allow this to happen again.

Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, thank you. You’re really great. You’re doing a really good job over there, by the way. I just saw your numbers. If I’m going to pick “Perry Mason,” I’m going to do a remake of “Perry Mason.” I picked Barr first, John Ratcliffe. If we’re doing a remake of “Perry Mason,” a man I get, there is no other man in Hollywood like this. John Ratcliffe. Right? Stand up, John.

Such a great lawyer. Incredible guy, incredible talent, but just a great lawyer and we appreciate it. He gets on that screen and everyone says, I agree. The other side folds up so fast. We’ll probably be using a lot of you in the next year. But you have been fantastic, John, we appreciate it. Thank you very much. A man who is braver than me and braver than all of us in this room, he got whacked. He got whacked. My Steve, right? I went to the hospital with our great first lady that night and we saw a man that was not going to make it.

He was not going to make it. I said, she loves you. Why? Because she was devastated. A lot of wives wouldn’t give a damn. I would say, how is he doing? She couldn’t even talk, she was inconsolable. Most wives would say, not good, I’m going home now. The doctor came in and the wife was a total mess. She was really devastated. It really looked like he had a 20, 25 percent chance. I think you set a record for blood loss. And Steve Scalise, I actually — honestly, I think you’re better-looking there. You’re more handsome there. You weren’t that good-looking. You look good now. He looks better now, can you believe it? I don’t know what the hell that is. Better now.

What a guy. He was practicing for the baseball game against — I guess the Democrats, right? And this whack job started shooting, hurt Rogers. I don’t know if Rogers is here, but hurt a number of people. But really hurt Steve. He was the second baseman, and he went down and it was terrible. I saw the whole thing and it was terrible. Fortunately, you had two brave policemen with you because of your high position in Congress. You had two policemen and they were amazing. The man and the woman and they came — they didn’t have rifles. They were supposedly a pretty good sharpshooter with equipment, and all they had was a gun. They started coming in from the outfield, shooting. They were so far away that a handgun is not preferred.

This guy has the rifle and he’s hitting people. He was going to move up and there was no out. The entrance was a single entrance way on the other side from where he was. So everyone ran into the dugout. But Steve was hit really bad in the stomach with a bullet that rips you apart. It rips you apart. And these two people came charging forward, and one of them — you know who? Him? Got the shooter. Hit him. And then got him. Killed him. From a long distance. It was amazing. If you didn’t have those two people, you could imagine, right? You could imagine what would happen.

So Melania and I went to the hospital that night, and he was in such bad shape and he’s been working ever since so hard. Six months ago they had a baseball game at the national spark. I was watching on television. It’s a game, you want to win it, right? And Steve is at second base. The poor guy can’t even walk.

Remember Bob Richardson of the New York Yankees. He was known for range. Bobby Richardson is the second player. This was not Steve Scalise. This was not Steve Scalise. This was not Steve Scalise. He had no range. I don’t know who put you on the field. This is a true story.

So the game starts, and the first pitch, Steve is standing at second base and the guy is really in bad shape, and I said, this is terrible. A shot, ground ball shot, is hit to 2nd. I didn’t have time to think too much, but I said, this is not good. That ball is going toward him. And this guy stopped that ball, caught the ball. He’s now laying down. He throws the ball to first base, he gets him out. I said it’s the most incredible thing. I’ve never seen anything like it. Right? [Applause]

And he gets him out and they then took him out of the game, which was a very wise thing because you could never do that again in a hundred years. But you weren’t going to let that ball go through. I don’t care if it was hit by the greatest of all time, that ball wasn’t going through because you’re a warrior. Steve, you are fantastic. You and Liz and Kevin, what a group. I got lucky. I got lucky, because you need the right people. If I had the wrong people there, it may be a different story.

Maybe we would be celebrating something else. But I really want to thank you. Steve Scalise. And, Elise [Stefanik], I just read this story. It’s most incredible what’s going on with you, Elise. I was up campaigning for helping her and I thought, she looks good, she looks like good talent. But I did not realize when she opens that mouth, you were killing them, Elise. You were killing them. There’s a big story in the new York post. I love the New York Post because they treat me well. There’s not too many that do, but today you’re treating me well.

I even had a great headline in the New York Times, the Washington Post, I had all these great headlines. Maybe we should end it right there. You had a great story yesterday in the post. People from all over the country are contributing to their campaign. I’ll always be your friend. I think it’s really an amazing story. What a great future you have. What a great future.

Thank you. First Lady agrees, by the way. First Lady agrees. And Michael Turner, you can represent me any time. Where is Michael? Where is he? You can represent me. How good were you? There’s another “Perry Mason” type, I think, right? What do you think, John? Michael, you were fantastic and we appreciate it. Brad Winstrop. Where is Brad?

Notice all the lawyers stayed behind. Lee Zeldin, how good are you? And Lou [Gohmert], your name isn’t down. They didn’t give me your name. I didn’t announce louie. Whoever the hell made this list, I got to get rid of them, because if I wouldn’t have announced louie, it might have been the end of the presidency. Louie, you have been so great, so tough, and so smart. I got it. But Louie has been amazing. He’s a tough guy, he’s a smart guy, we love Texas and we’re with you all the way, Louie. Thank you very much. [Applause]

So that’s the story. We have a great group of warriors, and there are others left, and I guess probably I’m sure I didn’t mention a few. I apologize if that’s the case. How you doing?

Stand up, will you? He’s the one who said, you should run. Right? Matt said five years ago, six years ago. And made a speech and then they did some kind of straw poll, who made the best speech? They said I made the best speech. With all these professional politicians, they voted by far the best speech was trump and he said, you should run in politics. I said, what do I know about politics? But you know, we learn quickly and our country has never done better than it’s doing now. Thank you, Matt.

So that’s the story. We’ve been treated very unfairly. Fortunately we had great men and women who came to our defense. If we didn’t, this would have been a horrific incident for our country. When you have Lisa [Page] and Peter [Strzok], the FBI lovers. I want to believe the path you threw out for Deputy Director Andrew McCabe — that’s the office — there’s no way he gets elected, meaning me. There’s no way he gets elected. This is Peter to Lisa. He’s probably trying to impress her for obvious reasons. There’s no way he gets elected. But I’m afraid we can’t take the risk. Now, think of this. In other words, if I get elected, they can’t — two lowlifes, they can’t take the risk.

Think of it. That’s where it came up, the greatest word of all insurance policy. When he says, I’m afraid we can’t take the risk, she may lose. It’s like an insurance policy in the unlike many, they would try to overthrow the government of the United States, a duly elected president. If I didn’t fire James Comey, we would have never found this out, because when I fired that sleazebag, they were running for the hills. We can see what happens.

But I can tell you in my opinion, these are the crookedest. They said, god, Hillary should win. 100 million to 1. This is about me. This is an agent from the FBI. Look how they left her off. Deleted. Nothing happens to her. Nothing happens. It’s unbelievable.

But people should investigate Hillary. Then they go to Hillary, and he let him go. But they deleted all their emails and text messages, so when we got the phone, they were all deleted. Can you imagine the treasure trove? They illegally deleted. They left Bob Mueller. He had the look but not a lot of other things. Always had the look, Mr. G-man. I love the FBI and the FBI loves me, 99 percent. It was the top scum. At the FBI, people don’t like the top scum. So think of that, 100 million to 1 and he’s investigating me. And then, ‘God, Trump is a loathsome human being.’ I’m really not a bad person.

And he says, ‘Yes, he’s awful.’ This is the good stuff. This stuff 100 times worse than that. They see are all dirty people and now I just heard that they’re suing the United States of America because they were interfered with. Not going to let this happen. We cannot let this happen to our country. [Applause]

So I’m going to leave now, and I don’t know if any of you have anything to say. You could say it but this is sort of a day of celebration because we went through hell. And I’m sure that Pelosi and crying chuck — the only time I ever saw him cry was when it was appropriate. I’ve known him for a long time, crying Chuck.

I imagine they’ll try to cook up other things. They’ll go through the state of New York, they’ll go other places, they’ll go wherever they can. Because instead of trying to heal our country and fix our country, all they want to do — in my opinion, it’s almost like they want to destroy our country. We can’t let it happen. Jim Jordan, did you want to say something? Go ahead. Mark?

MARK MEADOWS: I just wanted to say that this reflection today is a small reflection of the kind of support you have all across the country. We’ve got your back. [Applause]

TRUMP: Thank you. This was a highly partisan situation. Pelosi said — I copied it down exactly — before the impeachment — she wanted to impeach from day one, by the way, don’t let it fool you. She said, no, the impeachment is a very serious thing. I said she wants to impeach, watch.

Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there is something so compelling and so overwhelming and bipartisan — bipartisan? It was 197 to nothing. Then one failed presidential candidate, and I call that half a vote because he actually voted for us on the other one. But we had one failed presidential candidate. That’s the only half a vote we lost. So we had almost 53 to nothing. We had 197 to nothing.

And the only one that voted against was a guy that can’t stand the fact that he ran one of the worst campaigns in the history of the presidency. But she said, there’s something that has to be so compelling and so overwhelming and bipartisan. I don’t think we should go down that path because it divides the country — she was right about that. And it’s just not worth it.

That was Nancy Pelosi a year ago. Right? And I think it’s a shame. I think it’s a shame. But as I said, if we can put this genius to work on roads and highways and bridges and all of the things we can do, prescription drugs. You know, we had — Secretary [Alex] Azar is here, and I want to thank him for this, but we had for the first time in 51 years where drug prices actually came down last year. First time in 51 years. But something we can do is work with both parties in congress. It would be unbelievable. I know Chuck Grassley is working on it and Mitch McConnell, but everything we can do is incredible.

We’ve redone our military. We’ve cut regulations at a level that no one thought possible, we’ll always protect our second amendment, we know that. I just want to tell you it’s an honor to be with you all. I want to apologize to my family for having them have to go through a phony, rotten deal by some very evil and sick people, and Ivanka is here and my sons and my whole family. And that includes Barron who is up there as a young boy. Stand up, honey. Ivanka, thank you, honey. Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there is something so compelling and so overwhelming and bipartisan — bipartisan? It was 197 to nothing.

Then one failed presidential candidate, and I call that half a vote because he actually voted for us on the other one. But we had one failed presidential candidate. That’s the only half a vote we lost. So we had almost 53 to nothing. We had 197 to nothing. And the only one that voted against was a guy that can’t stand the fact that he ran one of the worst campaigns in the history of the presidency. But she said, there’s something that has to be so compelling and so overwhelming and bipartisan. I don’t think we should go down that path because it divides the country — she was right about that. And it’s just not worth it.

That was Nancy Pelosi a year ago. Right? And I think it’s a shame. I think it’s a shame. But as I said, if we can put this genius to work on roads and highways and bridges and all of the things we can do, prescription drugs. You know, we had — Secretary Azar is here, and I want to thank him for this, but we had for the first time in 51 years where drug prices actually came down last year. First time in 51 years.

But something we can do is work with both parties in Congress. It would be unbelievable. I know Chuck Grassley is working on it and Mitch McConnell, but what we can do is incredible. We’ve redone our military. We’ve cut regulations at a level that no one thought possible, we’ll always protect our second amendment, we know that. I just want to tell you it’s an honor to be with you all.

I want to apologize to my family for having them have to go through a phony, rotten deal by some very evil and sick people, and Ivanka is here and my sons and my whole family. And that includes Barron who is up there as a young boy. Stand up, honey. Ivanka, thank you, honey. [Applause]

I just want to thank my family for sticking through it. This was not part of the deal. I was going to run for president, and if I won, I was going to do a great job. I didn’t know I was going to run, and then when I got in I was going to have to run again and again and again, every week I had to run again. That wasn’t the deal, but they stuck with me, and I’m so glad I did it, because we are making progress and doing things for our great people that everybody said couldn’t be done.

Our country is thriving, our country is just respected again, and it’s an honor to be with the people in this room.

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