The tension between the American president Donald Trump and the Speaker of the American House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi ran high during the annual State of the Union of the president. After Trump’s speech – which was more like an election rally than a description of “the state of the country” – Pelosi tore her copy of the speech to pieces.
The evening had poorly begun when Trump entered the House of Representatives, stepped to the pulpit, gave Pelosi a copy of his speech, and refused to shake her outstretched hand. Instead, he turned around. Pelosi – who started the removal procedure against Trump – immediately withdrew her hand, shrugged her shoulders, and later shared an image of the moment on Twitter.
She immediately seemed to take revenge by not using traditional terms such as “honor” and “privilege” when introducing the president. She did that in 2007 for then-President George W. Bush. Then she said it was “a great honor and a privilege to be able to announce the President of the United States.” Just like her predecessors always did.
After the speech by Trump, Pelosi stood up and tore her copy of the State of the Union to pieces with horror. Behind the back of Trump and in front of the numerous cameras that were aimed at the podium.
When she was subsequently asked about it by journalists, she said that ‘she had been courteous because of the alternatives.’ She explained to the Fox News: ‘I tore up the speech. I tried to find one page with the truth on it. It did not work.’
It had been months since the two had seen each other. Pelosi made no secret earlier this week that she was not looking for the State of the Union. In an interview, she said: “He will have a beginning, a middle part, and an end. Then he will be done. So what?”
Last year Pelosi got noticed by clapping in an apparently condescending way for Trump after his State of the Union. It immediately became a viral meme on social media.
On Wednesday, the verdict is expected in the impeachment process against the president. It is almost certain that Trump will then be acquitted for abuse of power. Republicans have the majority in the Senate – where the trial takes place – and to condemn Trump, and a two-thirds majority is needed.
Trump himself did not respond to Pelosi’s swipe yet. The White House did that and was there like the chickens to point out several deserving Americans who were mentioned in the State of the Union and who had also “torn” Pelosi with her reaction. These included former fighters, a premature baby who had made it against all the odds, and the grieving family of human rights activist Kayla Jean Mueller.
Quite a few prominent Republicans also showed their wicked prizes. Former presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said on Twitter that he was “disgusted” and “humiliated”. And Foreign Minister Mike Pompeo shared an image from the animation series The Simpsons showing how Lisa Simpson tears an essay to pieces.