WASHINGTON: In a shocking display of division in the US Congress, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tore in half a copy of the State of the Union address given to her by the president just as he finished speaking.
The House speaker’s gesture at the very end encapsulated the seething atmosphere in the Capitol as Trump made a one hour and 18 minutes pitch for a second term in office.
Instead of what traditionally has been an annual moment for political truce, this annual address mirrored the political war raging through the country ahead of November elections.
Trump was still on the podium, having just completed his speech when Pelosi, standing just behind him, raised the papers and demonstratively tore them to pieces.
When asked after the event why she ripped up the speech, Pelosi told reporters it was “because it was a courteous thing to do considering the alternative. It was such a dirty speech.”
The White House responded on Twitter, writing that Pelosi tearing up the pages was “her legacy.”
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