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Trump thanks two Hoosier lawmakers during address regarding his impeachment acquittal

Indianapolis Star logo Indianapolis Star 2/6/2020 Chris Sikich, Indianapolis Star
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President Donald Trump thanked two Hoosier Republican lawmakers during a wide-ranging and sometimes combative address on his impeachment acquittal Thursday from the White House.

He said Sen. Mike Braun, who emerged as one of his staunchest defenders during the ordeal, is "a little bit like me." 

"Very successful guy in business, and he said, 'what the hell, I'll run for the Senate from Indiana," Trump recalled of the 2018 race. 

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"He ran and I saw him on television destroying his opponent in his debate," Trump continued. "I said, you know, this guy can win. And I got behind him. And Mike Braun, you have done some great work. Thank you very much."

Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: President Donald Trump stands with Mike Braun, who is running to unseat Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly, as he talks with the media as he arrives on Air Force One, Monday, Nov. 5, 2018, at Fort Wayne International Airport, in Fort Wayne, Ind., en route to Allen County War Memorial Coliseum for a rally. © Carolyn Kaster/AP President Donald Trump stands with Mike Braun, who is running to unseat Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly, as he talks with the media as he arrives on Air Force One, Monday, Nov. 5, 2018, at Fort Wayne International Airport, in Fort Wayne, Ind., en route to Allen County War Memorial Coliseum for a rally.

Braun, who voted to acquit Trump as a juror in the Senate impeachment trial, stood up in the audience, waved and smiled at the president as Trump said, "tough, tough." 

Braun pinned a post about the exchange to the top of his Twitter account with the words "Thank you President @realDonaldTrump."

Braun defeated incumbent Joe Donnelly in the 2018 race, running as someone who would be a close ally to the president. 

Trump repeatedly visited Indiana in the closing weeks of the campaign to stump for Braun, helping to keep the Senate in Republican control even as Democrats gained the House of Representatives.

Trump also had kind words for Rep. Jim Banks, a Republican who represents northeast Indiana. He mentioned Banks among several lawmakers he saw as allies during the impeachment. 

"These are great warriors," Trump said. "They really fought hard for us." 

Banks sent out a news release Wednesday saying he wants to investigate Democrats for impeaching the president.

“Now that President Trump has been cleared," he wrote, "we need to investigate the apparent corruption within the Democrat party. Democrats need to be held accountable for dragging our country through historic, unprecedented, partisan impeachment."

Of course, not everyone agreed with the point of view of the president and his allies. Rep. Andre Carson, a Democrat who represents Indianapolis, released a statement that the acquittal means little if the trial wasn't fair. 

“And that is exactly how this process was conducted at the hands of Senate Republicans, who blocked key witnesses and documents, and rigged the process to protect the president," Carson wrote. 

Voters will have their say this November.

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Call IndyStar reporter Chris Sikich at 317-444-6036. Follow him on Twitter: @ChrisSikich.

This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: Trump thanks two Hoosier lawmakers during address regarding his impeachment acquittal

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