A notably animated House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) decried President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address Thursday, calling it a “manifesto of mistruths” and a “reality show” using the House of Representatives as a backdrop.
“The whole State of the Union was beneath the dignity of the White House, an insult to the Congress of the United States and the American people,” she said at her weekly press conference, calling it a “state of his mind” address rather than the State of the Union.
Now famously, Pelosi tore the speech in half upon Trump’s conclusion, a move which drew swift and full-throated denunciation from Trump’s allies.
When pressed on the act Thursday, she snapped that she doesn’t need “lessons about dignity” from anyone, but especially not from the President.
She added that she felt “liberated” after shredding the document, that as soon as he was about one-third of the way through the speech she knew that she had to do something to show the American people that the address was full of falsehoods.
She said that the President himself “looked to me like he was a little sedated,” an impression she said she had last time he delivered the State of the Union too.
In another tense moment on Tuesday before Trump started speaking, he turned his back on Pelosi’s outstretched hand, refusing to shake it. Pelosi was unmoved. “That meant nothing to me,” she told reporters.
A Trump act which did provoke her ire, however, were his comments Thursday morning at the National Prayer Breakfast, where Pelosi was in attendance.
He made thinly veiled swipes at both her and Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT), the sole Republican who voted to convict Trump on the abuse of power article of impeachment.
“I don’t like people who use their faith as justification for doing what they know is wrong,” Trump said. “Nor do I like people who say I pray for you when they know that’s not so.”
Pelosi jumped to Romney’s defense, saying that the comment was “particularly without class” and that it was rich for Trump to “mischaracterize” people’s motivations stemming from prayer and faith, things he knows “little about.”
She added that she does pray “hard” for the President because he’s “so off track.”
Romney and Pelosi are both deeply religious: he a Mormon and she a Catholic.
Her voice rising, Pelosi said that it is an “absolute imperative” that America have a new President next year, one who does not “denigrate our values,” is not “disloyal to the Constitution” and does not “degrade the environment.”
“He has shredded the truths in his speech, he has shredded the Constitution with his conduct,” she thundered. “I shredded his state of his mind address.”
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