New footage has emerged which appears to show House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rehearsing the act of tearing up President Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech, a viral moment which sparked a media furor on the left and right.
A video obtained by the Daily Mail on Wednesday appeared to catch Pelosi practicing the gesture moments before she actually performed it.
Several media outlets characterized the scene as “stunning.”
Some users on social media suggested the footage shows Pelosi “pre-ripped” the pages.
Trump and Pelosi’s feud boiled over at his State of the Union speech on Tuesday, with Trump denying her a handshake and Pelosi ripping apart a copy of his remarks behind his back.
Trump avoided the subject of his impeachment drama in a pugnacious 80-minute speech, but the raw wounds from the battle were evident with fellow Republicans giving him standing ovations while rival Democrats for the most part remained seated.
The Republican-led Senate was expected to acquit him of charges he abused his powers and obstructed Congress during a vote beginning at 4 p.m. EST on Wednesday.
Seeing Pelosi, the House of Representatives speaker, for the first time since she stormed out of a White House meeting four months ago, Trump declined to shake her outstretched hand as he gave her a paper copy of his remarks before starting to speak.
Despite having not spoken to Trump since their last meeting, Pelosi appeared to be taken aback. She avoided citing the customary “high privilege and distinct honor” that usually accompanies the speaker’s introduction of the president to Congress.
“Members of Congress, the president of the United States” was all she said in introducing Trump.
When his speech ended, Pelosi stood and tore up her copy of the remarks he had handed her, later telling reporters it was “the courteous thing to do, considering the alternative.”
Kayleigh McEnany, Trump‘s campaign spokeswoman, said of Pelosi: “Her hatred for @realdonaldtrump has blinded her to the repulsive nature of her smug, elitist behavior.”
After the event, Pelosi tweeted a photo of her with her hand reaching out to Trump and said, “Democrats will never stop extending the hand of friendship to get the job done #ForThePeople. We will work to find common ground where we can, but will stand our ground where we cannot. #SOTU.”
The response to Pelosi’s actions was largely split along partisan lines.
Conservatives roundly condemned the house speaker.
“In a stunning display of hatred and contempt for our country, Nancy Pelosi just ripped up the State of the Union address on national television,” tweeted Uncover DC editor in chief Tracy Beanz.
Some Democrats, meanwhile, praised her as a “hero.”
- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.: Screen grab