Nancy Pelosi Literally Tore Up Trump’s State of the Union Speech

“It was the courteous thing to do,” Pelosi said.
February 5, 2020, 4:02am
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., tears her copy of President Donald Trump's s State of the Union address after he delivered it to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020. Vice President Mike Pence is at left.

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President Donald Trump thrilled Republicans across the country with his third State of the Union speech, but Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was clearly less than enchanted.

As Trump wrapped up his speech, she ripped up her copy.

During his address Tuesday night, Trump hit on every major Republican talking point and tossed in a few made-for-TV moments, like crowning conservative folk hero Rush Limbaugh with a Presidential Medal of Freedom and reuniting a deployed soldier with his family. Republicans frequently stood and cheered, while Democrats remained mostly seated; a few sometimes shook their heads as Trump spoke. (One even walked out.)

Afterward, a NBC News reporter asked Pelosi why she’d done it.

“Because it was the courteous thing to do,” Pelosi replied. “It was the courteous thing to do considering the alternative.”

Trump and Pelosi’s relationship was icy from the start of the night. Soon after Trump took his place behind the lectern on the House floor, he turned around to hand Pelosi and Vice President Mike Pence what appeared to be copies of his speech. Pelosi stuck her hand out for a customary hand-shake — but Trump had already turned away.

Cover image: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., tears her copy of President Donald Trump's s State of the Union address after he delivered it to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020. Vice President Mike Pence is at left. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)