From start to finish, President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address was marked by partisan tension that spilt out in the exchange between the leaders of both parties: Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
He refused to shake her hand after she introduced him. She tore his speech up and tossed it aside as soon as he was done.
Even before the president uttered the first word of his State of the Union address, the political and personal friction between the president and the House speaker, who has been leading his impeachment, was palpable.
Pelosi omitted the customary language about it being a “high privilege and distinct honour” to introduce the president. Trump then handed the traditional copies of his speech to Vice President Mike Pence and to Pelosi, but when she reached out to shake his hand, he turned his back on her.
The awkward exchange continued the drama from last year’s address when Pelosi clapped back at the president in a moment that went viral and Trump barely acknowledged her even though she introduced him and was seated behind him.