At the end of US President Donald Trump‘s State of the Union address, which was just over an hour long and has been described as more akin to a campaign speech, the speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi could be seen tearing a paper copy of the speech into pieces.
She then cast the torn up pieces of paper aside.
— 11th Hour (@11thHour) February 5, 2020
Pelosi said afterwards ripping up the speech was “the courteous thing to do considering the alternatives” and that there wasn’t a single page ‘with truth on it’.
From colleague Marisa Schultz. Pelosi on ripping up Trump speech: “I tore it up. I was trying to find one page with truth on it. I couldn’t."
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) February 5, 2020
It came after President Trump appeared to reject Pelosi’s handshake at the beginning of proceedings, when he handed copies of the speech to Pelosi and the Vice-President Mike Pence.
Democrats will never stop extending the hand of friendship to get the job done #ForThePeople. We will work to find common ground where we can, but will stand our ground where we cannot. #SOTU pic.twitter.com/ELJqR9q4xD
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) February 5, 2020
Pelosi highlighted this snub in a tweet she sent shortly after Trump’s State of the Union address, with a photo showing the President ignoring her offer of a handshake.
The White House was quick to denigrate Pelosi’s actions, accusing her of undermining the Americans ‘honoured’ in Trump’s speech.
Speaker Pelosi just ripped up:
One of our last surviving Tuskegee Airmen.
The survival of a child born at 21 weeks.
The mourning families of Rocky Jones and Kayla Mueller.
A service member's reunion with his family.
That's her legacy.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) February 5, 2020
Pelosi has come under fierce criticism from Trump supporters and republicans with the rebuke being described as childish, classless and pathetic.
The irony of Donald Trump’s defenders calling out childish behaviour is not lost.