House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stood up immediately following President Trump’s State of the Union address and ripped up the pages of his speech on camera as the president began to exit the podium.
The move followed an awkward exchange at the start of the night where Mrs. Pelosi extended her hand for a handshake, but the president snubbed her.
Both jabs caught the attention of social media users, where the exchanges began trending on Twitter.
Mrs. Pelosi said she ripped the speech because it was the “courteous” thing to do.
The White House official Twitter account jumped on the speaker’s move, using it as an opportunity to showcase the guests Mr. Trump had accompany him to the address.
“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 tweeted.
As they left the chamber, Democrats suggested the tear was due to the original handshake snub.
“He didn’t shake her hand, did he?” Rep. Steny H. Hoyer, Maryland Democrat, said when asked about the speaker’s action.
Rep. Henry Cuellar, Texas Democrat, echoed Mr. Hoyer, telling reporters the move by Mr. Trump not to shake hands set the tone.
Rep. Madeleine Dean, Pennsylvania Democrat, said the speech was torn to pieces because the president’s words were “hollow.”
“It was a reflection of what she thought of his words,” she said.