At the end of President Donald Trump’s State of the Union Address—before he even stepped down from the dais—Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi made her opinion of the speech clear. She seemed to rip one of the copies she had of it clean in two.
While Trump spoke, Pelosi’s anger seemed to mount. At times, she shuffled her papers while he railed against measures that Democrats have undertaken to shield immigrants from deportation. Her expression as he touted questionable statistics on jobs and claimed to have taken a stand on the cost of pharmaceutical drugs was steely. (Per the live New York Times fact check, the assertions were “misleading.”) After over an hour, she had had it, and Twitter got to watch.
The night had gotten off to a poor start. Seconds before Trump approached the podium to deliver the annual speech, Trump seemed to rebuff one of the occasion’s few attempts at bipartisan friendliness. Pelosi—who as Speaker of the House presides over the event—had reached out her hand to offer him a handshake, but Trump seemed to refuse the overture.
He had just walked onto the floor of the House of Representatives to loud applause from Republicans, handing copies of his address (as is tradition) to Vice President Mike Pence and Pelosi. That’s when Pelosi extended a hand—and Trump ignored it.
Reminder: Trump is still impeached for abuse of power and obstruction of justice, although it’s expected that the Senate will move to acquit him on both counts within the week. Given that it was Pelosi who delivered the articles of impeachment and unified her caucus around the move in December, it shouldn’t come as a terrible shock that relations between the two leaders remain just the tiniest bit tense. (Also, Pelosi is a woman in a position of power—accorded the kind of status in politics with which Trump has never seemed quite comfortable.) Still, Pelosi did seem somewhat surprised, grimacing as Trump turned on his heel.
Despite the olive branch, she found her own moment to sneak in a dig—and that was before she tore up his speech on prime time television. While speakers tend to stick to a familiar script at the event, Pelosi made one not-so-subtle edit. Where she would have otherwise read the line, “Members of Congress, I have the high privilege and distinct honor of presenting to you the President of the United States,” she instead opted for, uh, more straightforward language. “Members of Congress,” she said, “the President of the United States.”
Some on Twitter took notice of the perceived snubs—but if there was still some question as to how Pelosi felt, well, she clarified.