Democratic senator: 'The ultimate of ironies' for Trump to hit Romney for invoking his faith

Democratic senator: 'The ultimate of ironies' for Trump to hit Romney for invoking his faith
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Sen. Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - At loggerheads, Congress, White House to let jobless payout lapse Overnight Defense: Senate poised to pass defense bill with requirement to change Confederate base names | Key senator backs Germany drawdown | Space Force chooses 'semper supra' as motto Democrats call for expedited hearing for Trump's public lands nominee MORE (D-Mont.) spoke out in defense of Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyStimulus checks debate now focuses on size, eligibility CNN chyron says 'nah' to Trump claim about Russia Unemployment benefits to expire as coronavirus talks deadlock MORE (R-Utah) on Thursday after President TrumpDonald John TrumpOklahoma City Thunder players kneel during anthem despite threat from GOP state lawmaker Microsoft moving forward with talks to buy TikTok after conversation with Trump Controversial Trump nominee placed in senior role after nomination hearing canceled MORE appeared to attack the Utah senator during his remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast.

Tester reacted on CNN after Trump at the breakfast went after those "who use their faith as justification for doing what they know is wrong." The remark appeared to be aimed at Romney, who invoked his Mormon faith and sworn oath when he broke with his party the previous day and voted to convict Trump of abuse of power.

“Mitt Romney is a deeply religious man, and I listened to his speech on the floor yesterday, and he literally, I think, was guided by God,” Tester told CNN's Poppy Harlow. “He made a decision based on the facts and based on the gravity of the situation which was a very solemn and very important decision.”

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“I think it’s ironic that the president goes after him, a man who had an affair with a porn star while his wife was pregnant," Tester added. "That’s the ultimate of ironies."

His remarks come after Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiGOP lawmaker: Democratic Party 'used to be more moderate' White House not optimistic on near-term stimulus deal Sunday shows - Stimulus debate dominates MORE (D-Calif.) and others criticized Trump's remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast, where the president touted newspaper headlines declaring him "acquitted" of the two articles of impeachment following a Senate vote the previous day.

"I don't like people who use their faith as justification for doing what they know is wrong," Trump said Thursday morning. "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. And I'll be discussing that a little bit later at the White House."

The remarks seemingly referred to Romney, the only GOP senator to break with his party and support Trump's removal from office, as well as Pelosi, who launched Democrats' impeachment effort and has frequently told reporters that she prays for the president.

“I don’t know if the president understands about prayer or people who pray,” Pelosi responded Thursday at her weekly press conference. “I pray for the United States of America, I pray for him, I pray for President Bush still, President Obama … because it’s a heavy responsibility … I pray hard for him because he’s so off the track of our Constitution, our values, our country ... He really needs our prayers."

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"So he can say whatever he wants, but I do pray for him and I do so sincerely and without anguish, gently, that’s the way I pray for everybody else," she added.

Romney invoked his faith during a Senate floor speech Wednesday in which he announced that he would vote to convict Trump on the first article of impeachment, abuse of power.

"The allegations made in the articles of impeachment are very serious. As a senator-juror, I swore an oath before God to exercise impartial justice. I am profoundly religious. My faith is at the heart of who I am. I take an oath before God as enormously consequential. I knew from the outset that being tasked with judging the president, the leader of my own party, would be the most difficult decision I have ever faced. I was not wrong," he said.