#PelosiTantrum, #NancyTheRipper and “unbecoming” trended on Twitter after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ripped up a paper copy of impeached President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address right behind him in Congress.
Upon entering the House of Representatives chamber to deliver his address, Trump appeared to reject Pelosi’s offer of a handshake.
The California Democrat then presented Trump to the chamber but did not say the usual words about it being her “high privilege and distinct honor” to do so. At the end of Trump’s speech, Pelosi tore up pages behind the president.
When asked about it by reporters afterward, Pelosi said she ripped up the address “because it was a courteous thing to do considering the alternative. It was such a dirty speech,” ABC News reported.
The White House accused Pelosi of disrespecting some of the individuals mentioned in Trump’s address, including “one of our last surviving Tuskegee Airmen” and the family of murdered ISIS captive Kayla Mueller, a human rights worker.
“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,” Pelosi said in a subsequent statement.
“The American people expect and deserve a president to have integrity and respect for the aspirations for their children.”
On Twitter, Pelosi’s critics accused her of throwing a tantrum over Trump’s State of the Union address and impending acquittal in the Senate.
“It’s perfect that #PelosiTantrum is trending. What a humiliating night for her all the way around,” the Twitter account of the Chicks on the Right podcast tweeted. “Nance – you might wanna go ahead and rip up those impeachment articles while you’re at it. Today’s gonna be a good day.”
“President Donald Trump broke the Democrats,” tweeted Carmine Sabia. “Low turnout in Iowa and they couldn’t count the votes. He no sold impeachment at the #SOTU. Unbecoming? No the #PelosiTantrum was a mental breakdown. Once a stateswoman he has reduced her to #NancyTheRipper.”
Not everyone was critical, however. The comedian Dean Obeidallah tweeted: “Trump must be pissed because no one is talking what he said in his speech – they are only talking how Nancy Pelosi stole the show by ripping up his speech with him right there. And Trump was silent when she did it because strong women scare him.”
The former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley called Pelosi’s actions “unbecoming,” sparking another trend on Wednesday morning: “Disappointed to see @SpeakerPelosi rip up the speech that mentioned lives we’ve lost and heroes we celebrated at the SOTU. No matter how you feel or what you disagree with, remember others are watching. This was unbecoming of someone at her level in office.”
Some Twitter users then took aim at Haley. Christian Farias, writer in residence at Columbia University’s Knight First Amendment Institute, tweeted: “The former ambassador to the U.N., who never stood up to Donald Trump’s Muslim ban or apologized to African nations for his ‘s***hole’ comments, has thoughts on unbecoming behavior while in office. She should sit down.”
Joe Walsh, a former Republican congressman challenging Trump for the GOP nomination in 2020, tweeted: “New rule: If you are a Donald Trump supporter, you can never ever lecture anyone about behavior ‘unbecoming’ of his or her office.”
Shannon Pettypiece, NBC News Digital’s senior White House reporter, summed up the Pelosi moment’s impact: “Pelosi’s tearing up the speech move was Trumpian in the effect it is having. It is scoring her points with her base, it has made her the story, and it is generating the type of outrage from conservatives that we see from liberals over Trump’s antics.”
Under Pelosi’s leadership, the House impeached Trump in December with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress over the alleged scheme to pressure Ukraine into interfering in the 2020 election to benefit his re-election campaign.
On Wednesday, the day after Trump’s State of the Union address, the Republican-majority Senate will vote on the two articles of impeachment, the culmination of a days-long trial in which GOP senators voted against hearing new witnesses and evidence.
Trump’s acquittal of both articles is highly likely. It takes a two-thirds Senate majority to convict an impeached president. Some Republican senators have acknowledged Trump’s wrongdoing but argue it does not meet the threshold for removal from office.