Nancy Pelosi’s decision to rip up Donald Trump’s State of the Union address immediately after the president delivered the speech has been met with praise from his critics — and immediate backlash from his supporters.
The House Speaker was hailed as a “queen” for tearing up the speech as the cameras continued rolling after Mr Trump’s address on Tuesday night, the last State of the Union of his first-term in office.
Late night hosts praised the California Democrat, with the Late Show’s Stephen Colbert telling his audience: “She ripped him a new one.”
"Shoutout to our queen @SpeakerPelosi for this iconic moment," one user wrote.
But the decision was also roundly condemned by Mr Trump’s closest allies, who slammed Ms Pelosi as the president retweeted a series of scathing posts directed at the House Speaker.
On Fox News’s morning show Fox & Friends, Mike Pence said he “wasn’t sure if she was ripping up the speech or the Constitution.”
Mr Trump retweeted a statement posted by his former ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, who wrote: “This was unbecoming of someone at her level in office.”
The House Speaker defended ripping up the speech shortly after the State of the Union, telling reporters “it was the courteous thing to do, considering the alternative”.
She added: “It was such a dirty speech.”
Prior to the address on Tuesday night, Ms Pelosi attempted to shake Mr Trump’s hand, though she was seemingly ignored by the president as he turned his back towards her.
She quickly withdrew her hand, and introduced him by stating: “Members of Congress, the President of the United States.”
Traditionally during a State of the Union, the House Speaker introduces the president by stating: "Members of Congress, I have the high privilege and distinct honour of presenting to you the President of the United States."
The tension between the two was prevalent throughout the night and created significant discourse online, as opposing hashtags like #RipItUpNancy and #TrumpLies began trending along with #PettyPelosi and #PelosiMeltdown.
Ms Pelosi later described the speech as a “manifesto of mistruths” in a statement posted to her Twitter account.
“The manifesto of mistruths presented in page after page of the address tonight should be a call to action for everyone who expects truth from the President and policies worthy of his office and the American people,” she said. “The American people expect and deserve a President to have integrity and respect for the aspirations for their children.”
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