House Speaker Nancy Pelosi trashed President Trump’s State of the Union address in a closed-door caucus meeting Wednesday morning, saying she “shredded” his speech because he “shredded the truth.”
“Last night, we saw the President of the United States shred the truth right in front of us. Tear up the truth,” Pelosi said, according to a Democratic official who took notes and spoke on the condition of anonymity. “He shredded the truth, so I shredded his speech. What we heard last night was a disgrace.”
President Trump delivered his third State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in the House chamber. Shortly after the conclusion of Trump’s live address on national TV Tuesday night, Pelosi rose from her seat and ripped up a copy of Trump’s speech. The dramatic display made headlines and earned her a standing ovation from Democratic lawmakers the following morning.
Pelosi slammed the address, calling it “a manifesto of mistruths,” while explaining to her fellow members why she tore it up afterward. She also said that it wasn’t planned to tear up Trump’s speech, but felt “liberated” because the speech was so “outrageous” and “a pack of lies.”
“I didn’t go in there to tear up the speech, and I didn’t even care that he didn’t shake my hand. In fact, who cares?” Pelosi said. “But I’m a speed reader, so I went like through the speech. So I knew that it was a pack of lies. I knew it was a pack of lies, but I thought, ‘Well, let’s see how it goes.’”
She added, “About a quarter through it I thought, ‘You know – he’s selling a bill of goods like a snake oil salesman. We cannot let this stand,’” she unloaded. “So, somewhere along the way realizing what was coming, I started to stack my papers in a way that were tear-able and tear-able and terrible.”
The California Democrat slammed Trump for “disrespected” the House chamber and used it as a “backdrop for a reality show… to give a speech that had no connection with reality.” Pelosi specifically called out Trump’s decision to award the Medal of Freedom to Rush Limbaugh in the middle of the speech as an example of how Trump turned the State of the Union into a reality show and campaign speech.
“You are supposed to talk about the State of the Union,” Pelosi said. “Not the State of your alleged mind.”
Following Tuesday’s night address, Pelosi tweeted out a picture of her with her hand outstretched toward the President who earlier appeared to snub the House Speaker by ignoring her attempt at a handshake. The caption reads, “Democrats will never stop extending the hand of friendship to get the job done #ForThePeople. We will work to find common ground where we can, but will stand our ground where we cannot.”
The White House Twitter account responded to Pelosi ripping up the speech.
“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.”