President Trump’s White House speech on Thursday featured everything from calling the Russia investigation “bulls—t” to friendly ribbing of prominent GOP allies, all while agitating many members of the mainstream media who found a multitude of issues with the East Room event.
The Senate on Wednesday acquitted the president on both articles of impeachment following a weeks-long trial, and Trump described Thursday’s speech as a “celebration.” He was greeted by thunderous applause and a standing ovation by his supporters as many reporters immediately took to Twitter to criticize the process. Many negatively compared the scene to a campaign rally, while CNN's Jim Acosta complained that it sounded like the president was "answering the questions he wishes reporters would ask."
New York Magazine’s Jonathan Chait ruminated that Trump probably wanted to make similar remarks during Tuesday’s State of the Union but was reined in by staffers.
“Seems extremely likely Trump wanted to get his grievances off his chest in SOTU, and aides prevailed on him to save it for special post-acquittal speech, promised him ‘Hail to the Chief’ and a full room,” Chait wrote.
The president thanked his supporters and legal team, called the impeachment process “evil,” complimented the physique of Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said House Minority Whip Steve Scalise became more “handsome” after being shot and even praised the “incredible” deep voice of Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, during the celebratory speech. But when he described the Russia investigation as “bulls—t,” liberal critics really turned up the heat.
Walter Shaub called Trump “a disgrace to the office,” NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell seemed to disapprove he used the term in the East Room, CNN’s Keith Boykin called for the “civility police” and dozens of other reporters chimed in to condemn the comment.
As Trump’s detractors complained about the foul language, supporters quoted him as if it was a badge of honor. New York Magazine’s Olivia Nuzzi, a frequent CNN guest, even urged people to stop “pearl clutching” over the remark.
“I’m sure there are plenty of other things to take issue with here,” she wrote. “The fact that this president curses shouldn’t be very high on the list. Grow up.”
"People really should find the answer of why Trump had an unscheduled emergency trip to Walter Reed a few months ago,” Lockhart tweeted. ‘My guess is it had something to do with today's performance.”
NewsBusters managing editor Curtis Houck put together a montage of CNN personalities bashing the speech.
“The story is not the particulars of what he said. The story is he sounded nuts. I don't see why the media has such trouble explaining that,” Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin wrote.
CNN’s chyron labeled the speech polarizing speech “vindictive & vulgar,” which has been praised by Trump supporters but mocked by critics:
Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed to this report.