On Feb. 4, President Donald Trump delivered the final State of the Union address of his first term. It was Trump's third State of the Union, and his fourth time delivering a joint address to both chambers of Congress. During his State of the Union speech, Trump discussed tax cuts, labor, and criminal justice reform — but one particular moment from his address has gotten a lot of attention. A video of Trump snubbing Nancy Pelosi's handshake is going viral, and Twitter users can't believe it.
During his State of the Union address, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — who launched the impeachment inquiry — sat directly behind Trump as he spoke, as is custom. However, the tensions between Pelosi and Trump were palpable well before the address actually started. In fact, when Trump first took the podium and offered Pelosi a copy of his speech, Pelosi appeared to attempt a handshake with him, but Trump did not reciprocate and she quickly took her hand back. Trump, meanwhile, turned to face the crowd of Congressional lawmakers awaiting his address.
Whether or not this handshake snub was intentional, it has rapidly gotten a great deal of attention on social media. You can watch the video of the viral moment below:
But according to The New York Times, Trump wasn't the only one who snubbed Pelosi. During her introduction of Trump ahead of his speech, Pelosi normally would have said “I have the high privilege and distinct honor of presenting to you the president of the United States.” As the Times pointed out, Pelosi omitted many of these laudatory words and instead said, “Members of Congress, the President of the United States.” Elite Daily did not immediately hear back from the White House or Pelosi's office about the handshake snub or the altered introduction.
Twitter users — including Pelosi's daughter, Christine — were quick to notice the handshake snub, and their reactions to this exchange between Trump and Pelosi were generally confused.
Trump's State of the Union address came amid his impeachment trial, which will see a final vote on Wednesday, Feb. 5. Trump is only the third president in American history to be impeached. The House of Representatives voted on Dec. 18, 2019 to impeach Trump on two charges: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Ever since Democrats launched their impeachment inquiry into Trump back in September 2019, the president has routinely denounced impeachment proceedings as a "scam" and a "hoax."
"It's a witch hunt that's been going on for years and it's, frankly, it's disgraceful," Trump told reporters in Davos, Switzerland in January.
Some Twitter users speculated that Trump intentionally snubbed Pelosi's handshake because she led the charge on his impeachment, while others suggested that he may have just missed seeing her hand. However, Pelosi dispelled any ambiguity about how she was feeling Tuesday night when she ripped up Trump's State of the Union speech once he left the podium, prompting criticism from Republicans and moderates and praise from some of her progressive supporters and colleagues. She later told an NBC reporter that “it was the courteous thing to do considering the alternative,” so take that for what you will.