As President Donald Trump finished his State of the Union Address on Tuesday night, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was seen ripping up a copy of the President’s speech.
— CSPAN (@cspan) February 5, 2020
Asked immediately after Trump’s speech why she tore up the transcript, Pelosi told reporters: “Because it was the courteous thing to do,” adding that it was “the courteous thing to do considering the alternative.” It isn’t clear what she meant by an “alternative.”
Q: Why did you tear up the speech?
PELOSI: “Because it was the courteous thing to do.”
PELOSI: “It was the courteous thing to do considering the alternative.”
— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) February 5, 2020
Asked why she ripped up Trump’s speech, @SpeakerPelosi said because it was “a courteous thing to do considering the alternative. It was such a dirty speech.”
— Mary Bruce (@marykbruce) February 5, 2020
The White House responded quickly, accusing Pelosi of disrespecting the Americans that Trump had praised during his State of the Union address.
Speaker Pelosi just ripped up:
One of our last surviving Tuskegee Airmen.
The survival of a child born at 21 weeks.
The mourning families of Rocky Jones and Kayla Mueller.
A service member's reunion with his family.
That's her legacy.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) February 5, 2020
Pelosi and Trump have long had an awkward relationship; tensions only rose after Pelosi came to embrace the idea of impeaching Trump. Earlier in the evening, Trump appeared to dodge an attempted handshake from the House Speaker. At the end of last year’s State of the Union, Pelosi’s clap and pursed lips led to widespread speculation about whether her applause was sarcastic. She later said that her actions were in support of Trump’s call for bipartisan cooperation.