Tension between Trump and Pelosi dominated the SOTU, beginning with a snubbed handshake and ending with a ripped up speech
Tension between President Donald Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi permeated the room during Tuesday's State of the Union address. Trump snubbed Pelosi's attempted handshake, and she tore up the transcript of his speech at the end. Pelosi referred to Trump's address as a "dirty speech" after ripping it in half.
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The palpable tension between President Donald Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was the biggest theme of the night on Tuesday as the president delivered his third State of the Union address. At the start, Trump snubbed Pelosi when she offered a handshake, setting the tone for the evening. Moments later, Pelosi broke congressional tradition by referring to Trump as only "the President of the United States." In the past, House Speakers introduced the sitting president by stating they had the "high privilege and distinct honor of presenting to you the President of the United States." By the end of the address, which in many ways was a speech exclusively for Trump's supporters, Pelosi appeared visibly miffed. The House Speaker ripped up a transcript of Trump's address right after he stopped talking. When asked by a reporter why she did it, Pelosi said, "Because it was a courteous thing to do considering the alternatives." "It was such a dirty speech," Pelosi added.
Pelosi rips up copy of Trump’s speech right after he finished. https://t.co/lLZGiDXI0r#SOTU pic.twitter.com/JixDBwLYeG — Dan Linden (@DanLinden) February 5, 2020
Beyond the tension with Pelosi, Trump put on a show for Republicans and his base. He began his speech to a raucous chorus of "four more years" from lawmakers. He made a point to demonize socialism (and Democratic calls for universal health care) in concert with the presence of the Venezuelan opposition leader, Juan Guaidó, one of his invited guests. He awarded Rush Limbaugh, a controversial conservative radio host, who recently announced he has advanced lung cancer, with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. And, among other moments such as honoring a 100-year-old World War II veteran who was a Tuskegee Airmen, he surprised a service member's family with his homecoming. In between these made-for-TV moments, Trump drew applause from Republicans as he went after undocumented immigrants and promised to uphold Second Amendment rights. The president's State of the Union came on the eve of Trump's expected acquittal in his Senate impeachment trial. And though Trump did not mention the elephant in the room during his speech, the friction and animosity the impeachment process has catalyzed was clearly present in the chamber. SEE ALSO: Nancy Pelosi broke tradition when introducing Trump at the State of the Union, leaving out the words 'honor' and 'privilege' Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Extremists turned a frog meme into a hate symbol, but Hong Kong protesters revived it as an emblem of hope
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