US SPEAKER, NANCY PELOSI TEARS UP STATE OF THE UNION SPEECH AFTER ADDRESS
As Trump closed the speech, saying “Thank you. God bless you. God bless America,” Pelosi, a Democratic congresswoman from California, stood up directly behind the president. She then straightened her copy of the speech by tapping it on the desk, brought it up to chest-level and tore it in half. She continued to do the same with more papers—presumably the second half of the 90-minute-long speech.
When asked why she ripped up the speech, Pelosi replied, “Because it was the courteous thing to do considering the alternatives,” according to a video posted by Fox News producer Jason Donner.
Pelosi tearing up the speech provided a bookend to the State of the Union address, at least in terms of the seeming animosity between her and Trump. As previously reported by Newsweek, at the beginning of the speech, Pelosi offered her hand to the president as he handed her a copy of the address. Instead of shaking it, Trump turned to the cheering crowd.
At the opening of the speech, Pelosi had another snub for the president. Traditionally, she would have said, “I have the high privilege and distinct honor of presenting to you the president of the United States.” Instead, Pelosi merely said, “Members of Congress, the president of the United States.” Later in the speech, Pelosi visibly reacted to the segment of Trump’s address about sanctuary cities.