Dilma Rousseff: ‘I’m the victim of a great injustice’

Updated 2:29 AM EDT, Fri May 13, 2016
brazil rousseff impeachment vote darlington lok_00003310.jpg
NBR
brazil rousseff impeachment vote darlington lok_00003310.jpg
Now playing
02:22
Dilma Rousseff: 'I'm the victim of a great injustice'
BRASILIA, BRAZIL - AUGUST 29:  Suspended Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff testifies on the Senate floor during her impeachment trial on August 29, 2016 in Brasilia, Brasil. Senators will vote in the coming days whether to impeach and permanently remove Rousseff from office.. (Photo by Igo Estrela/Getty Images)
Igo Estrela/Getty Images South America/Getty Images
BRASILIA, BRAZIL - AUGUST 29: Suspended Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff testifies on the Senate floor during her impeachment trial on August 29, 2016 in Brasilia, Brasil. Senators will vote in the coming days whether to impeach and permanently remove Rousseff from office.. (Photo by Igo Estrela/Getty Images)
Now playing
03:58
Brazil's president removed from office
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff attends the launching ceremony of a new stage of the state-subsidized housing program at Planalto Palace in Brasilia on May 6, 2016.
A special committee in Brazil's Senate was to vote Friday on whether to recommend starting an impeachment trial against President Dilma Rousseff who faces being suspended from office in less than a week. / AFP / EVARISTO SA        (Photo credit should read EVARISTO SA/AFP/Getty Images)
EVARISTO SA/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff attends the launching ceremony of a new stage of the state-subsidized housing program at Planalto Palace in Brasilia on May 6, 2016. A special committee in Brazil's Senate was to vote Friday on whether to recommend starting an impeachment trial against President Dilma Rousseff who faces being suspended from office in less than a week. / AFP / EVARISTO SA (Photo credit should read EVARISTO SA/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:06
Why Brazil impeached President Rousseff
Brazil's suspended President Dilma Rousseff makes a statement at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia on May 12, 2016. Rousseff said Thursday that democracy and the constitution are at stake after she was forced to face an impeachment trial in the Senate and cede power to vice president Michel Temer.
EVARISTO SA/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Brazil's suspended President Dilma Rousseff makes a statement at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia on May 12, 2016. Rousseff said Thursday that democracy and the constitution are at stake after she was forced to face an impeachment trial in the Senate and cede power to vice president Michel Temer.
Now playing
03:26
WIll Brazil's President be ousted from office?
brazil new president temer rousseff replacement darlington pkg_00011523.jpg
brazil new president temer rousseff replacement darlington pkg_00011523.jpg
Now playing
02:17
Brazil's vice president steps in as interim president
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff speaks during a press conference at Planalto Palace in Brasilia on April 18, 2016.
President Rousseff said Monday that she is "outraged" by a vote in Congress to authorize impeachment proceedings against her and vowed to keep fighting. / AFP / EVARISTO SA        (Photo credit should read EVARISTO SA/AFP/Getty Images)
EVARISTO SA/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff speaks during a press conference at Planalto Palace in Brasilia on April 18, 2016. President Rousseff said Monday that she is "outraged" by a vote in Congress to authorize impeachment proceedings against her and vowed to keep fighting. / AFP / EVARISTO SA (Photo credit should read EVARISTO SA/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:16
Brazilian President Rousseff vows to fight impeachment
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff delivers a speech during the launching ceremony of the National Plan against Aedes aegypti and microcephaly in Brasília in March 23, 2016. The aedes aegypti mosquito is the vector of Zica virus. AFP PHOTO/ANDRESSA ANHOLETE / AFP / Andressa Anholete        (Photo credit should read ANDRESSA ANHOLETE/AFP/Getty Images)
ANDRESSA ANHOLETE/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff delivers a speech during the launching ceremony of the National Plan against Aedes aegypti and microcephaly in Brasília in March 23, 2016. The aedes aegypti mosquito is the vector of Zica virus. AFP PHOTO/ANDRESSA ANHOLETE / AFP / Andressa Anholete (Photo credit should read ANDRESSA ANHOLETE/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:30
Brazil lawmakers vote to impeach president
Brazil recession_00003825.jpg
Brazil recession_00003825.jpg
Now playing
01:56
Feeling the pain of Brazil's recession
Frightened music goers watched as a stage collapsed at the Atmosphere Festival in Esteio, Brazil, on Sunday. The video shows strong winds and storm clouds before the scaffolding crumbled.
Xandi Medeiros heard about the collapse from his 16-year-old son who was at the festival.
"I was terrified when I saw the video. I could never have imagined that a tragedy like this could unfold ... where the DJ died and some people were injured..." he told CNN in Portuguese.
Xandi Medeiros/Facebook
Frightened music goers watched as a stage collapsed at the Atmosphere Festival in Esteio, Brazil, on Sunday. The video shows strong winds and storm clouds before the scaffolding crumbled. Xandi Medeiros heard about the collapse from his 16-year-old son who was at the festival. "I was terrified when I saw the video. I could never have imagined that a tragedy like this could unfold ... where the DJ died and some people were injured..." he told CNN in Portuguese.
Now playing
00:52
Concert stage collapses in high wind, DJ dies
Sao Paulo Fire
Now playing
00:54
Moment fire collapses building in Sao Paulo
Now playing
00:46
Child rescued after being buried alive
brazil recommends rousseff impeachment darlington lklv_00001301.jpg
brazil recommends rousseff impeachment darlington lklv_00001301.jpg
Now playing
01:41
Brazil committee recommends Rousseff's impeachment
brazil rio olympics superbacteria darlington pkg_00014129.jpg
brazil rio olympics superbacteria darlington pkg_00014129.jpg
Now playing
02:17
Super bacteria found on Rio beaches, Olympic venues
brazil olympics evictions darlington pkg_00000614.jpg
brazil olympics evictions darlington pkg_00000614.jpg
Now playing
02:09
Brazil clears residents ahead of Olympics
cnn exclusive michel temer intv darlington _00023305.jpg
cnn exclusive michel temer intv darlington _00023305.jpg
Now playing
03:53
CNN Exclusive: Brazilian VP Michel Temer speaks out
brazil rousseff impeach olympics lklv darlington _00003829.jpg
brazil rousseff impeach olympics lklv darlington _00003829.jpg
Now playing
01:31
Turmoil in Brazil may jeopardize the Olympic games

Story highlights

NEW: Acting President Michel Temer says Brazil's leaders must regain trust

"I'm the victim of a great injustice," Rousseff tells supporters

55 of 81 senators vote to begin impeachment trial against Rousseff

(CNN) —  

Suspended Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff didn’t mince words as she began the fight of her political life Thursday.

“It’s a coup,” she told reporters, speaking publicly for the first time since senators voted to begin an impeachment trial against her.

It took Brazil’s Senate about 20 hours of debate to reach a decisive result early Thursday: The country’s first female President must step aside while the trial gets underway.

Rousseff’s impeachment: 5 questions

It took Rousseff less than an hour to make two speeches slamming the vote: One to reporters inside the presidential palace and one to crowds outside after she was kicked out.

“I’m the victim of a great injustice,” Rousseff told cheering supporters.

She delivered a fiery speech from a podium set up outside, stopping several times to ask people around her to move so she could see the crowd.

Here's a look at the most prominent words Dilma Rousseff used in two speeches as the embattled Brazilian leader made her case in the court of public opinion Thursday, based on CNN's translations of her remarks.
Wordle.net
Here's a look at the most prominent words Dilma Rousseff used in two speeches as the embattled Brazilian leader made her case in the court of public opinion Thursday, based on CNN's translations of her remarks.

She shook hands with onlookers, kissed a baby and hugged people afterward.

All the while, she decried the impeachment proceedings as a betrayal and an injustice. The effort, she argued, is the latest in a string of moves by her opponents since she took office.

“My government was the target of nonstop sabotage,” Rousseff said. “The objective was to stop me from governing and therefore allow an environment inviting the coup.”

Rousseff is accused of breaking budget laws, but she maintains she did the same things previous Brazilian leaders have done.

“I have made mistakes, but I have not committed any crimes. I am being judged unjustly, because I have followed the law to the letter,” she said.

Later, as acting President Michel Temer addressed the nation on television, several dozen Rousseff supporters attempted to force their way into the presidential palace in Brasilia. The protesters were repelled by police who used pepper spray to disperse the crowd.

“I am convinced that it is necessary to rescue Brazilians’ trust internally and internationally,” Temer said. “Because it is fundamental so that our companies and workers, therefore all the productive areas within the country, can have enthusiasm and go back to their secure investments.”

Temer said he had wished the handover ceremony could have been discreet and sober then realized he should say a few words to the people of Brazil.

He also said he had “institutional respect” for Rousseff.

The acting President said Brazil must be united to move forward.

“We don’t have a lot of time. We have to be committed so we can implement the reforms that the country needs,” he said.

President says she’ll keep fighting

Rousseff vowed to keep fighting efforts to impeach her, and called for her supporters to join her.

“Destiny has reserved many challenges for me. … Some of them seemed impossible to overcome. I have suffered from torture, I have suffered from sickness, and now I suffer from the pain of injustice,” she said. “What is more painful now is injustice. I am victim of a political farce. But I won’t give up. I look back and I see all we have accomplished. I look forward and I see all we still need to do.”

The past few months have been a roller coaster for the embattled leader. And while there are some procedural steps we know are coming, given the country’s volatile political landscape, what will happen next is anyone’s guess.

This much is clear: Rousseff will be suspended for up to 180 days. That means she could be on the sidelines, fighting for her political future, when the Olympics come to Latin America’s largest country in August.

As Rousseff spoke, Temer, her one-time vice president, posted a photo on his official Twitter account of the moment when he took power.

Rousseff retains her title as President by law, but she will not be fulfilling the duties of that office.