After Donald Trump refused to shake her hand at the beginning of the night, Nancy Pelosi ripped up his State of the Union speech in clear anger.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made her disdain for President Donald Trump known after he finished his State of the Union address, ripping up her advance copy of his speech behind his back. Trump had just spent an hour and a half refusing to give Democrats credit for any legislature passed in 2019, and started off the night by refusing to shake the House Speaker’s hand. It was clear at that moment that it would be a tense night at the Capitol Building.
In the video of the dramatic moment, which you can watch below, a steely faced Pelosi rises up from her seat behind the dais, while Trump is still saying “thank you” to the joint sessions of Congress. In one swift move, she rips his speech completely in half and sets it down on her desk. The camera pans away after this. A source close to the Pelosi told CNN directly after the SOTU that she didn’t plan it as a statement; she was just that angry in the moment.
It was bound to be tense when Pelosi and Trump came face to face. The politicians reportedly haven’t been in the same room together since November. There’s also the matter of Pelosi leading the House of Representatives impeaching Trump on December 18, formally charging him with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. He became the first president to deliver a State of the Union address while during an active impeachment trial; the verdict in the Senate case comes tomorrow, February 5.
— Bill Kuchman (@billkuchman) February 5, 2020
— Haley Talbot (@haleytalbotnbc) February 5, 2020
Reporters caught Pelosi heading out of the House, and asked her what she thought of the address. “I tore it up,” she said. “Because it was a courteous thing to do considering the alternative. It was such a dirty speech.” Another moment clearly spelling out Pelosi’s feelings going into the night: the House Speaker traditionally says, “it is my honor and distinct pleasure to welcome the President of the United States” as the president begins their speech. Tonight, Pelosi said, “ladies and gentlemen, the president.”
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