Nancy Pelosi Tears Up State of the Union Speech After Address: 'It Was the Courteous Thing to Do Considering the Alternatives'

Shortly after President Donald Trump finished delivering the State of the Union address Tuesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ripped her copy of the speech in half.

As Trump closed the speech, saying "Thank you. God bless you. God bless America," Pelosi, a Democratic congresswoman from California, stood up directly behind the president. She then straightened her copy of the speech by tapping it on the desk, brought it up to chest-level and tore it in half. She continued to do the same with more papers—presumably the second half of the 90-minute-long speech.

When asked why she ripped up the speech, Pelosi replied, "Because it was the courteous thing to do considering the alternatives," according to a video posted by Fox News producer Jason Donner.

Pelosi tearing up the speech provided a bookend to the State of the Union address, at least in terms of the seeming animosity between her and Trump. As previously reported by Newsweek, at the beginning of the speech, Pelosi offered her hand to the president as he handed her a copy of the address. Instead of shaking it, Trump turned to the cheering crowd.

At the opening of the speech, Pelosi had another snub for the president. Traditionally, she would have said, "I have the high privilege and distinct honor of presenting to you the president of the United States." Instead, Pelosi merely said, "Members of Congress, the president of the United States."

Speaker Nancy Pelosi on why she ripped up President Trump’s speech: “Because it was the courteous thing to do considering the alternatives.”

— Jason Donner (@jason_donner) February 5, 2020

Later in the speech, Pelosi visibly reacted to the segment of Trump's address about sanctuary cities.

"The State of California passed an outrageous law declaring their whole State to be a sanctuary for criminal illegal immigrants—with catastrophic results," Trump said. "Here is just one tragic example. In December 2018, California police detained an illegal alien with five prior arrests, including convictions for robbery and assault. But as required by California's Sanctuary Law, local authorities released him."

As Trump said this, Pelosi's mouth opened, and she looked around as if in disbelief, before then going back to reading Trump's speech from the provided copy.

Pelosi and Trump spar often. Trump calls the top Democrat "Nervous Nancy" at his rallies.

At the 2019 State of the Union address, a GIF of Pelosi clapping for Trump seemingly sarcastically went viral. That year, the State of the Union address had been delayed by a week due to a partial government shutdown over Trump's demand that Congress fund his border wall.

Pelosi Rips Speech
House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) rips up pages of the State of the Union speech after U.S. President Donald Trump finishes his State of the Union address in the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives on February 04, 2020 in Washington, DC. President Trump delivers his third State of the Union to the nation the night before the U.S. Senate is set to vote in his impeachment trial. Mark Wilson/Getty