House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appeared to tear her copy of President Trump’s State of the Union address in advance of ripping it in half at the end of his speech.
Video from the New York Post shows the California Democrat picking up the pages of Trump’s speech and making what seems to be a tearing motion, before placing them back on the podium while the president awarded conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Photos sourced from the Associated Press show small tears on the sides of at least two pages of the speech, indicating that Pelosi intended to rip the papers in half at the conclusion of Trump’s address.
Vice President Mike Pence, who was seated to the right of Pelosi and behind Trump during the joint session of Congress, said Wednesday that he thought she planned the act because “it felt like such an immediate moment.”
Pelosi explained her decision to rip the speech in half by saying, “It was a courteous thing to do.” The speaker later called the address a “dirty speech.”
Prior to his speech, the president appeared to snub Pelosi’s offer of a handshake.
The president invited his friend Limbaugh to the State of the Union one day after Limbaugh announced his diagnosis with advanced lung cancer. During the speech, first lady Melania Trump presented Limbaugh with the highest civilian honor at the behest of Trump.