Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) ripped apart a copy of President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address as it concluded before a joint session of Congress on Tuesday evening in Washington, DC.
As Trump completed his speech, Pelosi stood up, held the papers up in full view of Congress and the nation, and tore each page in half.
She began tearing the papers as Trump finished saying, “God bless America.”
In so doing, Pelosi tore apart a text honoring American military forces –including Tuskegee Airman Gen. Charles McGee, a 100-year-old veteran of the pioneering Black fighter pilots.
The text also honored victims of terrorism and included an emotional reunion of a military family, among other Americans mentioned in the address.
Trump opted against shaking Pelosi’s hand when the Democrat leader offered it to him as he turned toward the podium.
Asked by NBC News why she tore up the speech, Pelosi reportedly said, “Because it was the courteous thing to do” and, “It was the courteous thing to do, considering the 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
The White House responded:
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 has repeatedly characterized Trump as a foreign agent of subversion in the service of Russia and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
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