U.S. House Speaker Pelosi Rips President Trump’s Speech
By Hillary Nnoruka
Two actions on Tuesday showed how deep the feud between United States President Donald Trump and the speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi runs.
The first was President Trump’s refusal to shake Pelosi’s outstretched hand, and the second was the speaker’s ripping of a paper copy of the president’s speech.
Both deeds happened within 80 minutes of each other, one before Trump’s State of the Union speech and the other right after.
The president entered the House of Representatives chambers to sustained applause, and handed copies of his remarks to Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker Pelosi, then turned away without shaking her hand as she extended it.
Trump used his annual address to paint an optimistic picture of his country’s future and buttress the strong economy.
Right after the speech, Pelosi ripped her paper copy behind the president's back.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi inevitably became an instant meme https://t.co/WsT4mtikpc— TIME (@TIME) February 5, 2020
She later told reporters that it was "the courteous thing to do."
The hostility between the two did not start today.
In 2019, Pelosi cancelled her invitation to Trump to deliver his State of the Union, citing the ongoing government shutdown. The president responded by announcing that the speaker’s planned visit to U.S. troops in Afghanistan had also been cancelled.
Trump gave his speech a month later but not without Pelosi periodically giving him the side-eye, sarcastically clapping for him, and seemingly chuckling as he turned around to look back at her.
The discord escalated when Pelosi announced the official impeachment inquiry into Trump.