Skip To Content
BuzzFeed News Home Reporting To You

Trump Ignored Nancy Pelosi’s Handshake At The State Of The Union. Then She Tore Up A Copy Of His Speech.

Pelosi later ripped up a print out of the president's speech as he finished.

Last updated on February 4, 2020, at 11:07 p.m. ET

Posted on February 4, 2020, at 9:44 p.m. ET

Patrick Semansky / AP

President Trump hands copies of his speech to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Mike Pence, Feb. 4.

It took zero time before the tension between President Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was evident at the State of the Union address on Tuesday when the impeached president ignored her outstretched hand to greet him.

Trump received a boisterous greeting from Republicans during the annual joint session of Congress, with members of his party chanting "four more years" as he made his way to the chamber's podium.

But when Pelosi extended her hand to the president, Trump appeared to ignore the gesture.

Pelosi shrugged as Trump quickly turned around to the podium.

Nancy Pelosi went in for the handshake aaaaand....Trump ignored it.

But the tension didn't end there. Pelosi remained sitting during most of Trump's speech, and at the end of the address, she was captured on television ripping apart a print out of the speech and tossing it onto the desk.

Pelosi RIPS the state of the union copy right after President Trump finishes

All eyes were on the two after last year's State of the Union address, when, in response Trump's comments about "cooperation, compromise, and the common good," Pelosi rose to applause enthusiastically in what many took to be a shady gesture.

So when Trump ignored Pelosi's outstretched hand on Tuesday, people were on high shade alert.

No handshake between Trump and Pelosi. Such a petty man.

POTUS DENIED handshake from Nancy Pelosi THATS MY PRESIDENT

However, no one saw Pelosi's destruction of the speech. She later told reporters she ripped up the print out because it was "a courteous thing to do considering the alternative."

Exchange between @FoxNews producer Jason Donner and @SpeakerPelosi Question: Why did you rip up the speech madam speaker? Speaker Pelosi: “Because it was the courteous thing to do considering the alternatives.”

The White House responded on Twitter, calling her decision to rip up the speech that included shoutouts to Americans in the audience "her legacy."

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.

Pelosi and Trump have had a turbulent relationship during his time in the White House.

The last time the two met in person was reportedly in October, when she and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer walked out of a White House briefing on Syria, where Pelosi said Trump had a "meltdown."

Since then, the Democrat-held House has voted to impeach Trump on allegations that he abused his power when requesting that Ukraine investigate the son of his political rival, Joe Biden, in exchange for approved military aid, as well as obstruction of Congress.

But with Republicans holding the majority in the Senate, Trump is expected to be acquitted on Wednesday.


ADVERTISEMENT