Trump and Pelosi’s hostile relationship is publicly known.

Watch Speaker Nancy Pelosi rips copy of Trumps State of the Union speech on stage
news International Wednesday, February 05, 2020 - 13:38

In a dramatic moment captured on camera soon after United States President Donald Trump completed his third State of the Union address on Tuesday in Washington DC, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ripped up a copy of his speech on stage. 

Both Pelosi and Vice President Mike Pence were seated behind Trump’s podium for the duration of the 78-minute speech. As Pence and the audience stood to applaud, Pelosi also stood up but tore up the sheets of paper containing his speech, though Trump’s back was turned to her. Pence appeared not to notice. 

This wasn’t the first tense moment of the night between Trump and Pelosi, whose hostile relationship is publicly known. Before the address began, Trump handed over a copy of his speech to Pelosi. Though she reached out to shake his hand, he turned his back to her and she immediately withdrew her hand. The interaction was caught on video as well.

The House Speaker also reportedly slighted Trump in another way — in her introduction of the President, she would have normally said, “I have the high privilege and distinct honour of presenting to you the President of the United States.” However, Pelosi said, “Members of Congress, the President of the United States.” 

Pelosi, a Democrat and the highest-ranking member of the House, had led the party’s drive to impeach Trump. Trump was impeached on December 18, 2019 in the same chamber where he gave his speech on Tuesday. 

When later asked why she tore up his speech, Pelosi responded, “It was the courteous thing to do, considering the alternative.” In a statement she later tweeted, Pelosi called the address a “manifesto of mistruths.”

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