After ripping up Trump’s State of the Union speech, Nancy Pelosi shared this photo from earlier in the night, when the president appeared to reject her handshake.
But Pelosi’s promise to “never stop extending the hand of friendship to get the job done” seemed to clash with her very public show of opposition to the president when she tore up his remarks.
Congressman Seth Moulton, another former Democratic presidential candidate, said he was among the House Democrats who walked out of the State of the Union.
In additional to the several Democratic lawmakers who walked out of Trump’s speech, at least 10 House Democrats did not attend the event in protest.
One Democratic senator, Chris Murphy of Connecticut, said it was “a mistake” for Democrats to attend the State of the Union at all, comparing the annual speech to a “2020 campaign rally.”
Republican congressman Billy Long said he told Nancy Pelosi that she should auction off her copy of the State of the Union, which she ripped up, for charity.
Long, an actual auctioneer, noted he is auctioning the tie he had Trump sign tonight to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Asked about Nancy Pelosi ripping up Trump’s speech, congressman Al Green, one of the House Democrats who boycotted the State of the Union, blamed the tension on the president for initially rejecting a handshake from the House speaker.
The Republican National Commitee has already started circulating the video of Nancy Pelosi tearing up Trump’s State of the Union speech, as some political commentators predicted the clip would soon find its way into a Republican attack ad.
White House criticizes Pelosi for ripping up speech
The White House has reacted to the clip of Nancy Pelosi tearing up the State of the Union speech, accusing the House speaker of disrespecting the guests Trump invited to the speech.
As Twitter erupted over Nancy Pelosi tearing up Trump’s State of the Union address, Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer delivered the Democrats’ English-language response to the speech.
“Every Democrat running for president has a plan to expand health coverage for all Americans,” Whitmer said, taking aim at Trump’s criticisms of the Democratic presidential candidates.
“President Trump, sadly, has a different plan. He’s asking the courts to rip those life-saving protections away. It’s pretty simple. Democrats are trying to make your health care better. Republicans in Washington are trying to take it away.”
But those policy-focused remarks were immediately overshadowed by the tension between Trump and Pelosi, especially considering the annual speech comes one day before the Senate is expected to acquit the president in the impeachment trial.
Longtime congressional reporters said Nancy Pelosi tearing up the paper copy of Trump’s speech underscored what an unprecedented State of the Union it was, from the president’s rejection of the speaker’s handshake to Republican cheers of “Four more years!” in the House chamber.
Pelosi also ignored the traditional introduction of the president as he walked into the chamber.
Asked why she tore up Trump’s speech, House speaker Nancy Pelosi said it was the “courteous thing to do considering the alternative.”
The moment immediately overshadowed the Democratic response being delivered by Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer, who is focusing her remarks on healthcare and infrastructure.
Pelosi rips up copy of Trump’s speech after he finishes
Right after Trump concluded his speech, House speaker Nancy Pelosi appeared to rip up the paper copy of his speech.
The State of the Union was bookended by Trump appearing to reject a handshake from the speaker and then Pelosi literally tearing apart his remarks.
at 10.39pm EST
Trump ends speech without any mention of impeachment
Trump’s State of the Union ended without a single mention of impeachment, marking a moment of restraint from the unpredictable president.
Trump told reporters earlier today that he was “not bitter” about the impeachment and said his speech would be “extraordinarily low-key,” although the several House Democrats who walked out of the speech would probably disagree with that.
It appears Trump is waiting to take a victory lap until tomorrow, when the Senate is expected to acquit him.
Trump concludes State of the Union
Trump has now concluded his State of the Union after speaking for an hour and 18 minutes and is exiting the House chamber to compliments from Republican lawmakers.
Two Democrats, Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer and Texas congresswoman Veronica Escobar, will soon deliver responses to the speech.
at 10.30pm EST
Trump reunites military family during State of the Union
In a made-for-television moment, Trump used his State of the Union to reunite a military family separated for seven months by the father’s deployment.
“War places a heavy burden on our Nation’s extraordinary military families, especially spouses like Amy Williams from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and her 2 children — 6-year-old Elliana and 3-year-old Rowan,” Trump said.
“For the past 7 months, she has done it all while her husband, Sergeant First Class Townsend Williams, is in Afghanistan on his fourth deployment to the Middle East.”
Trump then informed Amy and her children that Townsend was present tonight, and the woman burst into tears as her husband appeared in the chamber.
Parkland father escorted out of State of the Union
Fred Guttenberg, the father of a girl who was killed in the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, was escorted out of the House chamber after he voiced protest to Trump’s comments about gun rights.
“Just as we believe in the First Amendment, we also believe in another Constitutional right that is under siege all across our country,” Trump said. “So long as I am president I will always protect your Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.”
at 10.58pm EST
Congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, the only two members of “the Squad” to attend tonight’s State of the Union, have walked out of the House chamber.
The pair’s departure come shortly after Trump boasted about the number of conservative judges he has nominated since taking office.
“We have confirmed a record number of 187 new Federal judges to uphold our Constitution as written,” Trump said. “This includes two brilliant new Supreme Court Justices, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.”
Trump then ad-libbed: “And we have many in the pipeline.”
at 10.17pm EST
Congressman Tim Ryan, a former Democratic presidential candidate who ended his campaign in October, said he walked out of the State of the Union because he has “had enough”: