Trump snubs Pelosi's handshake offer. Then, she tears his speech
It was a day of snubs and drama at the United States House of Representatives on Tuesday when President Donald Trump delivered his third State of the Union Address. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi extended her hand towards Trump, only to be ignored. And taking revenge by the end of his speech, Pelosi tore her copy of Trump's speech in full media glare.
Trump is likely to emerge victorious in the impeachment trial
Trump delivered his speech on the eve of Senate voting on his impeachment, where he will be acquitted. Last year, he was impeached for abusing his position and seeking help from a foreign country (Ukraine) for targeting his political opponent, Joe Biden. Since the Republicans form a majority in the House, Trump will walk away unscathed. To date, no US President has been removed through this process.
In his over one hour speech, Trump didn't mention impeachment
Aware of what tomorrow holds for him, Trump walked in towards chamber's podium with confidence as Republicans shouted "four more years". And Democrats, who got him impeached at the same House, remained quiet for the largest part. Trump ended his speech without mentioning the impeachment trial. He spoke for an hour and 18 minutes, in the same manner that he usually addresses election rallies.
Pelosi extended her hand, Trump looked away
What begged attention in the address was the palpable tension between Trump and Pelosi. The US President walked towards the podium and handed over copies of his speech to Pelosi and Vice-President Mike Pence. But when Pelosi extended her hand, Trump snubbed her. Her irritated reaction was caught by cameras. But that wasn't it, as more such moments were recorded.
Ditching an ornate introduction, Pelosi spoke coldly about Trump
Thereafter, Pelosi introduced Trump to the House in a cold manner just by saying, "Members of Congress, the president of the United States." Speakers usually introduce Presidents with the phrase, "Members of Congress, I have the high privilege and the distinct honor of presenting to you the president of the United States." Pelosi herself has used the same words in the past.
Pelosi tore the speech, explained why she did so
The tensions between them reached new heights when Trump ended his speech. With an expression of disdain on her face, Pelosi stood up and tore a copy of Trump's speech. He wasn't facing her when this happened. Later, when Pelosi was asked why she went ahead with the dramatic gesture, she replied, "Because it was the courteous thing to do considering the alternative."
Watch: The move that will remain etched forever
Pelosi and Trump's relationship has always been strained
Throughout Trump's presidency, his relationship with Pelosi has been turbulent. The President has frequently called the Speaker "Crazy Nancy" at his poll rallies. In fact, their last meeting, reportedly in October, ended on a sour note too. Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer left a White House briefing on Syria mid-way. Pelosi claimed Trump had a "meltdown" at the meeting.
That's her legacy: White House unhappy with Pelosi's action
Pelosi ripping apart Trump's speech got a sharp reaction from the White House. A tweet posted from the official Twitter handle read, "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."