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Trump's best week ever?

His highest approval ratings yet. A Democratic debacle in Iowa. A State of the Union address that fired up his base and infuriated his foes. And finally, an historic acquittal in the Senate. 

Republicans say Donald TrumpDonald TrumpIran claims U.S. to lift all oil sanctions but State Department says 'nothing is agreed' Ivanka Trump, Kushner distance themselves from Trump claims on election: CNN Overnight Defense: Joint Chiefs chairman clashes with GOP on critical race theory | House bill introduced to overhaul military justice system as sexual assault reform builds momentum MORE had perhaps the best week of his presidency, nine months before the election. And even some Democrats privately agree with that assessment. 

“Through a combination of unforced errors and political maneuvering, Trump had one of his best weeks,” one House Democrat involved with the impeachment effort acknowledged to The Hill.

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That sentiment has congressional Democrats seriously fretting about their 2020 prospects and questioning whether any of their four front-runners — Bernie SandersBernie SandersSenators say White House aides agreed to infrastructure 'framework' Briahna Joy Gray: Biden is keeping the filibuster to have 'a Joe Manchin presidency' On The Money: Biden to fire FHFA director after Supreme Court removes restriction | Yellen pleads with Congress to raise debt ceiling MORE, Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegHigh-speed rail getting last minute push in Congress Buttigieg: Bipartisan deal on infrastructure 'strongly preferred' OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden ends infrastructure talks with key Republican | Colonial Pipeline CEO grilled over ransomware attack | Texas gov signs bills to improve power grid after winter storm MORE, Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenSchumer vows to advance two-pronged infrastructure plan next month Overnight Health Care: CDC panel meets on vaccines and heart inflammation | Health officials emphasize vaccine is safe | Judge rules Missouri doesn't have to implement Medicaid expansion Democrats urge Biden to extend moratorium on student loan payments MORE and Joe BidenJoe BidenSchumer vows to advance two-pronged infrastructure plan next month Biden appoints veteran housing, banking regulator as acting FHFA chief Iran claims U.S. to lift all oil sanctions but State Department says 'nothing is agreed' MORE — can deny Trump a second term.   

Trump, meanwhile, took a victory lap on Thursday, just a day after the Senate acquitted him of two impeachment charges, ending the four-month saga over the president’s campaign to pressure Ukraine to investigate Biden and interfere in the upcoming election.

His daylong rally began Thursday morning at the National Prayer Breakfast, where he hoisted up print copies of USA Today and The Washington Post featuring the headlines: “ACQUITTED” and “Trump Acquitted.”

By the afternoon, he was at the White House celebrating with dozens of staff members, congressional allies and conservative media personalities. 

“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. …” Trump said in an hourlong, rambling speech in the East Room.  

“But now we have that gorgeous word. I never thought that word would ever sound so good. It’s called total acquittal,” he said. 

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Even before his inevitable acquittal, Trump was already having a good week. 

Ever since he arrived in Washington, Trump’s poll numbers have consistently been under water. But Gallup this week said Trump’s approval rating stood at 49 percent, a personal best during his three-year presidency.

The new poll landed with a splash Tuesday morning, hours ahead of Trump’s annual State of the Union address and as Democrats were scrambling to make sense of an Iowa election crisis of their own making. 

The night before, the Iowa Democratic Party had failed to tabulate and report results from the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses, blaming the snafu on an online app that had failed. Both Buttigieg and Sanders declared victory as the votes were still being counted. But The New York Times on Thursday reported errors and inconsistencies with the count, and Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom PerezThomas PerezClinton’s top five vice presidential picks Government social programs: Triumph of hope over evidence Labor’s 'wasteful spending and mismanagement” at Workers’ Comp MORE soon called on the state party to immediately start a recanvass.

The chaos has led to calls from Democrats to block Iowa from going first next time in the presidential nominating contest, and sparked complaints from furious Sanders supporters that establishment Democrats — just like in 2016 — were trying to halt the Vermont senator’s momentum.

At a private meeting this week, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyTech antitrust bills create strange bedfellows in House markup Equilibrium — Presented by NextEra Energy — A new final frontier: Washing dirty laundry in space White House uses Trump's words praising China to slam McCarthy's Biden criticism MORE (R-Calif.) and other House GOP leaders joked that “only Donald Trump could win both the Democratic and Republican Iowa caucuses,” according to Rep. Tom ColeThomas (Tom) Jeffrey ColeNow that earmarks are back, it's time to ban 'poison pill' riders Parade of 2024 GOP hopefuls court House conservatives Florida Rep. Alcee Hastings dies at 84 MORE (R-Okla.), who attended.  

Republicans were also quick to tie the Iowa “screw-up” — as Sanders called it — to the failed 2013 launch of the Obama administration’s Healthcare.gov website. 

“You look at Healthcare.gov. You look at the Iowa caucuses. You really want to put these folks in charge?” Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonOvernight Defense: Joint Chiefs warn against sweeping reform to military justice system | Senate panel plans July briefing on war authorization repeal | National Guard may have 'training issues' if not reimbursed Senate panel plans July briefing on war authorization repeal Overnight Defense: Senate panel delays Iraq war powers repeal | Study IDs Fort Hood as least-safe base for female soldiers | Pentagon loosens some COVID-19 restrictions MORE (R-Wis.) told The Hill. “It’s a legitimate question to ask.”

On top of that, two top leaders of the host committee for the 2020 Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee were fired for creating a toxic work environment — a negative story that largely flew below the radar this week because of the Iowa disaster, Trump acquittal and State of the Union.

Trump’s annual address to Congress was, as expected, controversial. He snubbed his political nemesis, Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiSchumer vows to advance two-pronged infrastructure plan next month Senators say White House aides agreed to infrastructure 'framework' Tim Cook called Pelosi to say tech antitrust bills were rushed MORE (D-Calif.), when she tried to shake his hand; Pelosi returned the favor by shredding a copy of his speech. And his 90-minute address was packed with red meat for his conservative base, including a big section on illegal immigration and his border wall. 

But Trump also drew on his reality-TV past to create an address that kept viewers at the edge of their seat and pulled at their heart strings. Like a game-show host, Trump gave a scholarship to a young disadvantaged, minority student; reunited a military family; and directed his wife, Melania, to drape the Presidential Medal of Freedom around the neck of a cancer-stricken Rush Limbaugh, who had to be pushed in a wheelchair to the House gallery.

Democrats blasted Trump for turning the State of the Union address — and the House chamber — into a stage for one of his political campaign rallies. Rep. Gerry ConnollyGerald (Gerry) Edward ConnollyDemocrats weigh next steps on Jan. 6 probe Tlaib, Democrats slam GOP calls for border oversight to fight opioid crisis Shakespeare gets a congressional hearing in this year's 'Will on the Hill' MORE (D-Va.) predicted all of Trump’s theatrics would backfire, excite the liberal base and cost Trump his reelection. Sen. Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenWarren stalls confirmation of Biden pick in push for student loan reforms Democrats introduce resolution apologizing to LGBT community for government discrimination Zombie Tax punishes farmers to fill DC coffers MORE (D-Md.) dismissed it as a “MAGA rally.”

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“That was not a State of the Union; that was his state of mind,” Pelosi told reporters Thursday, specifically singling out the Limbaugh spectacle. “Do it in your own office. We don't come in your office and do congressional business. Why are you doing that here?" 

But one House Democrat said she looked up from the floor and saw people in the gallery wiping away tears when Trump surprised a North Carolina military wife and her two children by informing them he had brought her husband back home from his fourth tour in the Middle East.

The doors opened and Sgt. 1st Class Townsend Williams barreled down the stairs to embrace his kids and kiss his wife.

“It was like Oprah; it was effective,” the Democratic lawmaker said, acknowledging that it likely played well for the television audience.

It’s less clear how well Pelosi’s shredding of Trump’s speech fared. It appeared to energize the Democratic base, but it also came under criticism and contrasted with the Speaker’s usual desire to follow decorum. Some rank-and-file Democrats called it a misstep that gave the GOP an opening and fueled Trump's fundraising machine.

Trump’s allies on Capitol Hill are departing Washington with a bounce in their step. Cole, a former House GOP campaign chairman, called this week the “trifecta of politics: Iowa, State of the Union, impeachment acquittal, and then the Super Bowl kicking it all off.” 

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Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.), who attended the White House celebration, called it Trump’s “best week” since he shocked Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonCommunion vote puts spotlight on Hispanic Catholics Trump's biggest political obstacle is Trump The Memo: Some Democrats worry rising crime will cost them MORE — and the Washington establishment — in November 2016.

“He scored one victory after another, shaking up Democrat leadership and putting their entire party in a tailspin,” Banks told The Hill on Thursday. “Democrats’ 2020 election chances are faring about as well as Speaker Pelosi’s copy of the State of the Union.”

Mike Lillis contributed.