Trump declares victory following acquittal in impeachment trial

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We begin tonight with the conclusion of president trump's impeachment trial in the Senate on Wednesday the Senate voted to acquit president trump of obstruction of Congress and abuse of power met rami was the lone GOP lawmaker to join Democrats in finding him guilty of abuse of power the next day president trump appeared at the White House to celebrate his acquittal and denounced Democrats and the investigations that have dogged his presidency president trump also deliver his third state of the union address on Tuesday night he claimed credit for the stronger economy and vowed to quote never let socialism destroyed American health care the issue has taken center stage in the twenty twenty presidential race here to discuss this politico senior writer Carl Ameren Nucci and NPR senior editor and correspondent Ron Elving he joins us by Skype from the nation's capital welcome to you both Ron let's start with you we are hearing today that lieutenant colonel Alexander vin men who and his twin brother are being fired and removed from the White House he was one of the witnesses called during the impeachment investigation he provided very damaging testimony against the president what is this firing tell us about how trump gonna act moving forward and could there be any repercussions for the president or his administration you know there were two theories on the part of the senators who were voting on impeachment one was that the president was going to have learned his lesson and that he was going to moderate his behavior that does that does not seem to have been borne out by his behavior thus far at the prayer breakfast on Thursday or at his victory lap speech in the east room or now today as he has begun and we don't think he's finished cleaning out some of the people that he thinks betrayed him and the impeachment proceedings including a lieutenant colonel Benjamin and his brother who was actually on staff over in the Senate for some other people but seems to have lost his job in the same hour I mean it's not just the president that could potentially suffer repercussions we have senators like Susan Collins from Maine who it said she hoped the president would learn lessons she is one of a handful of senators that Democrats hope to defeat in November what do you think this means for them look I think it's gonna fire of the Democrats they are already donating in record amounts to the on the opposition in all of those cases when you talk about college attack on more than like Sally this is this is but it's going to keep the Republicans fired up as well this whole week is an example of of the kind of I mean a rancor and hostility we seen between the parties it is not going away anytime soon it is going to extend probably on the next election I think we've we've gone the other residents a suite yeah it definitely feels like we are already in the selection run I wanna bring you back in here the impeachment vote was on Wednesday the only person who you could say maybe didn't act in a partisan manner was Utah senator Mitt Romney he was the sole Republican vote on that first article of impeachment on abuse of power do you think that in anyway rob's trump of this talking point that this is a purely partisan witch hunt it doesn't seem to have deterred him from using exactly that language what it does add a note an asterisk if you will Mitt Romney was the first person to vote to remove from office a president of his own party we've had party lines stepped over in the past in previous impeachments but always to defend someone not to remove them so he does become a unique voice in all the history of impeachment that's not something we're going to hear from the White House White House is in some sense is trying to ignore him but is also made some rather direct shots at him hiding behind his religion or using religion as a crutch because he mentioned his Mormon faith when he gave the speech on the floor and was quite an emotional speech about why he felt he had to follow the facts that had been presented to the Senate and vote for the president's removal from office Carlos you think there could be any political repercussions for Ronnie I mean obviously he has a target on his back when it comes to the White House look his own newspapers in Utah have stood up for him but there's no question about it there's going to be political repercussions for him and for his state and that's I think going to be of concern to hand the president has already mentioned is such an antibody I think that he's getting support from Democrats it's interesting to watch but it was also interesting to watch the silence the came out of the Senate people that have known him for years people have respected him for years have not come forward to to to the firm for him in any way so I think we're going to see how this plays out he but he's willing to take the heat he made

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