House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) appears to have practiced tearing up President Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech on Tuesday evening, as seen in live footage from the speech.
A video posted by President Trump’s re-election campaign shows Pelosi making small tears in a copy of the speech as the president introduced conservative radio icon Rush Limbaugh.
Video confirms Nancy Pelosi ripping up the #SOTU speech was PREMEDITATED:
9:49 PM: Pelosi makes small tears to the paper after POTUS mentions "new cures for childhood cancer" and eradicating AIDS.
10:24 PM: Pelosi holds up the already torn paper and finishes ripping it in half. pic.twitter.com/IR2y9CeYVo
— Trump War Room – Text WOKE to 88022 (@TrumpWarRoom) February 5, 2020
Following President Trump’s address, Pelosi’s office denounced Vice President Mike Pence for suggesting she had planned the display of disrespect — though her spokesman did not directly deny the charge.
According to the Daily Mail, Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill angrily scolded Pence for saying the page ripping seemed premeditated:
The vice president said on ‘Fox & Friends’ Wednesday morning that, ‘It felt like it,’ when asked if the speaker had planned her move ahead of time.
‘Pelosi, in the final moments, tried to make it about her. And I think the American people see through it. I think they see through the pettiness, they see through the politics of all of it,’ Pence said.
A spokesperson for Pelosi insisted that her ripping up the text of Donald Trump’s speech was not pre-planned.
‘The Vice President’s complicity in last night’s reality show is disgusting. He is in no position to lecture anyone about the Constitution, decorum or respect as he cheerleads the mistruths of his master,’ Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill told DailyMail.com.
Pelosi herself attempted to defend the move, alleging without evidence that the speech was riddled with falsehoods.
“The manifesto of mistruths presented in page after page of the address tonight should be a call to action for everyone who expects truth from the President and policies worthy of his office and the American people,” she said in a statement. “The American people expect and deserve a President to have integrity and respect for the aspirations for their children.”
The White House shot back: “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.”
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
Senate Republicans cut a video together to illustrate the White House’s argument that the protest moment was disrespecting the Americans honored through the evening:
One of America's last surviving Tuskegee Airmen.
Scholarships for quality education.
Comfort for mourning Americans.
A soldier's reunion with his family.
“I tore it up. I was trying to find one page with truth on it. I couldn’t." – Speaker Pelosi pic.twitter.com/gRummbjsBq
— Senate Republicans (@SenateGOP) February 5, 2020
The move by Pelosi has sparked blowback, including calls from Republican lawmakers for the Speaker to be censured.
On Wednesday evening, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) announced that he will file an ethics complaint against Pelosi and will join Reps. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) and Kay Granger (R-TX) in presenting a resolution for the speaker to be censured. Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) also said that he will introduce a resolution to censure Pelosi for her “classless outburst.”