House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made headlines Tuesday night after President Donald Trump finished his State of the Union address when she stood up behind him and neatly tore her copy of the speech in two. If her feelings on Trump weren't clear enough already, she crystallized them during that highly unusual and tense moment.
Afterward, she told reporters, "It was the courteous thing to do considering the alternative."
"It was a manifesto of mistruths," she said of Trump's remarks, as reported by Newsweek. "We always extend a hand of friendship. If he rejects it, that's up to him."
She added that he would "hopefully not" be giving another State of the Union come next year. "We're expecting another president, nine months from today," she said.
Trump, 73, and Pelosi, 79, have had a volatile relationship since Trump was elected in 2016, with Tuesday's address from the U.S. Capitol — combined with the ongoing impeachment trial in the Senate against him — reflecting that dissension.
Earlier in the night, Trump appeared to ignore Pelosi's offer of a handshake when giving her a copy of his speech; later, she was seen shaking her head "no" when he told the assembled senators and representatives, "I keep my promises." At the time, Trump was pledging to protect Medicare and Social Security.
Pelosi largely seemed to avoid looking at Trump throughout the address, instead reading from his prepared remarks and scanning the room. She and other Democrats stood and applauded only periodically, even as Republicans regularly gave ovations.
Pelosi also wore the same pin as when she opened the impeachment debate about Trump.
The speech came weeks after the House impeached Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress and one day before the GOP-controlled Senate is likely to acquit him.
It's not the first time Pelosi has made waves at one of Trump's State of the Union addresses. Last year, her pointed applause at Trump for calling for an end to "revenge politics" went viral.
Democratic Rep. Madeleine Dean of Pennsylvania said she thought Pelosi ripping up the speech "was a reflection of what [Pelosi] thought of his words: they were hollow, they rang untrue and they were hurtful."
Republican House Minority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana labeled Pelosi's act as "disgraceful," while Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.) called it "a shameful spectacle."0comments