For the third time in his presidency, President Donald Trump delivered his annual State of the Union address on Feb. 4, 2020. The speech was Trump's first time visiting the House of Representatives since lawmakers voted to impeach him in December 2019, and it was obvious by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's face that things were tense. These tweets about Nancy Pelosi's reactions at the 2020 State of the Union address are really something else. As Twitter users quickly observed, the House Speaker responded to Trump's speech with a mixture of boredom, incredulity, and occasional amusement, and everyone was living for it.
Even before Trump delivered his State of the Union address, there was clear tension between him and Pelosi. When Trump took the podium, Pelosi appeared to attempt a handshake with him, but the president did not reciprocate. During his speech, many of Trump's statements about tax cuts and unemployment prompted standing ovations from Vice President Mike Pence and his fellow Republicans, but Pelosi remained firmly in her seat. Instead, she routinely rifled through her papers, pursed her lips, raised her eyebrows, and occasionally glanced around in apparent boredom.
Pelosi did stand up a couple of times — when Trump was talking about criminal justice reform, the House Speaker got on her feet and made direct eye contact with her Democratic colleagues in the audience. She also joined in on bipartisan applause for Venezuelan politician Juan Guaidó, an opposition leader who has been unsuccessfully trying to oust Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro from office. But when Trump made some remarks about undocumented immigrants and crime, Pelosi visibly shook her head. Let's just say Twitter was all about her reactions.
Then, after Trump had concluded his speech, Pelosi ripped up some papers — apparently, including Trump's speech — thereby generating shocked applause from social media users. (Pelosi later told an NBC reporter that ripping up the speech was "the courteous thing to do," which is a lot.)
This isn't the first time Pelosi has gone head to head with Trump over the State of the Union. In January 2019, it looked like Trump wouldn't be able to deliver the annual address, because Pelosi refused to invite him to speak until the partial government shutdown at the time came to an end. The government shutdown did ultimately end on Jan. 25, 2019, and Pelosi invited Trump to make his address to Congress on Feb. 5, 2019. In 2020, despite impeachment proceedings against Trump, Pelosi appeared keen to skip the drama from 2019 and invited the president to speak, as per tradition. Pelosi did, however, omit some complimentary language from her introduction of Trump, per The New York Times, instead simply saying, “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 reported handshake snub and altered introduction.
The relationship between Pelosi and Trump has been tense ever since she reassumed her role as Speaker of the House after the historic 2018 midterm elections. In recent months, Trump has described Pelosi as "Crazy Nancy," accused her of being "obsessed" with impeachment, and went so far as to tweet that she "had a nervous fit" when a journalist asked her if she hated Trump. Pelosi, for her part, told ABC's This Week host George Stephanopoulos earlier this month that "he has to know that every knock from him is a boost."
"So again, I don't like to spend too much time on his crazy tweets, because everything he says is a projection," Pelosi told Stephanopoulos. "When he calls someone crazy he knows that he is. Everything he says you can just translate it back to who he is."
Pelosi and other Democrats have implied their hope that this State of the Union is Trump's last in office. On Jan. 31, the Senate voted not to call more witnesses in the impeachment trial against the president, clearing the way for a likely acquittal. The Senate is expected to vote on the impeachment charges on Wednesday, Feb. 5.