On Tuesday night, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) ripped up her copy of President Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech.
The unorthodox move, which was widely panned on the right as disrespectful, was seemingly calculated by the speaker, who chose to rip up the speech while still in the Capitol, in front of scores of media cameras.
The leading Democrat confirmed this much when speaking to reporters following her highly-covered action.
“Because it was a manifesto of mistruths,” Pelosi said of ripping up Trump’s speech, according to CBS White House corespondent Mark Knoller.
Asked if she would invite President Trump to deliver the address again next year, Pelosi said, “Hopefully not,” suggesting, as Knoeller notes, that she hopes a new president will be elected in November.
"Because it was a manifesto of mistruths," said @SpeakerPelosi last night leaving the Capitol, asked why she tore up the text of the President's speech. Asked if she would invite Pres Trump again next year. "Hopefully not," she said, hoping a new pres is elected in 9 months." pic.twitter.com/09BC4mpm9s
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) February 5, 2020
In a statement reported by The Washington Post, Pelosi echoed the same “manifesto of mistruths” line.
“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.
Additionally, according to reporter Jim Roberts, “Nancy Pelosi says ripping up Donald Trump’s speech was ‘was the courteous thing to do considering the alternative.'”
Nancy Pelosi says ripping up Donald Trump’s speech was “was the courteous thing to do considering the alternative.” https://t.co/3KfDxWRvI1 pic.twitter.com/N5k0KBN9Dr
— Jim Roberts (@nycjim) February 5, 2020
As House Speaker, Pelosi introduced the president before his speech. However, the Democrat veered from tradition here, too.
As reported by The Daily Wire, decades of past SOTU addresses show that is protocol for the House Speaker to announce the president by noting that it is their “high privilege and distinct honor” to do so:
“Members of Congress, I have the high privilege and distinct honor of presenting to you the President of the United States.”
Pelosi seemingly refused, merely announcing President Trump: “Members of Congress, the President of the United States.”
The snubbing of President Trump did not end there: eight House Democrats boycotted the speech, apparently as a protest against Trump’s legitimacy.
According to reports from The Hill and Axios, the following Democrats did not attend the address:
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY)
Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA)
Rep. Al Green (D-TX)
Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN)
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)
Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA)
Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL)
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA)
“After much deliberation, I have decided that I will not use my presence at a state ceremony to normalize Trump’s lawless conduct & subversion of the Constitution,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) said before the speech Tuesday night.
“None of this is normal, and I will not legitimize it. Consequently, I will not be attending the State of the Union,” she continued.
“This is a deeply personal decision for each member to make, and a choice I did not take lightly. I will be hopping on Instagram Live later this evening to connect with my constituents and follow up with their questions about #SOTU,” Ocasio-Cortez added.
Moreover, as noted by The Daily Wire, presidential hopeful far-left Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) skipped the address so he could campaign in New Hampshire.
Related: Pelosi Violates Protocol By Refusing To Announce Trump Properly at SOTU; Rips Up Speech