Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was on fire in a Thursday morning press conference at which she was asked about Donald Trump’s State of the Union and her decision to tear up the paper it was printed on. After reiterating that she prays for Trump because “he really needs our prayers,” she mounted a fierce defense of the SOTU-ripping—a defense in which she said that Trump had “looked a little sedated” and that she was shredding not a true State of the Union but “his state of his mind address.”
“I tore up a manifesto of mistruths,” Pelosi said. And, to the reporters asking these questions, she added that it’s “very hard for us to get you to talk about the issues we are working on—H.R. 3, infrastructure and the rest—he misrepresented all of that. It’s necessary to get the attention of the American people to say this is not true, and this is how it affects you.” By physically tearing up his speech, then, Pelosi has gotten more attention to talk about how filled with falsehoods it was.
But Pelosi is also not going to be rebuked for it without serious pushback. “I don’t need any lessons from anybody, especially the president of the United States, about dignity,” she said. “Dignity. Is it okay to start saying ‘four more years’ in the House of Representatives? It’s unheard of. It’s unheard of for the president to insult people there who don’t share his view, as well as to misrepresent, present falsehoods—some would use the word lie, I don’t like to use the word lie, about what he was saying.”
Will Pelosi invite Trump back for another State of the Union address? “Next year we will have a new president of the United States. That is an absolute imperative for our country. For our Constitution.”
Pelosi continued: “It’s appalling the things he says, and then you say to me that tearing up his falsehoods isn’t that the wrong message? No it isn’t. I have tried to be gracious with him. We will not allow any president to use that Capitol, that chamber of the House of Representatives, the People’s House, as a backdrop for him,” she said, again highlighting Trump’s disrespect for American democratic institutions.
“That was not a State of the Union, that was his state of mind. We wanted a State of the Union: Where are we, where are we going, and the rest. Not ‘let me just show you how many guests and I can draw and let me say how I can give a Medal of Honor’—do it in your own office. We don’t come in your office and do congressional business. Why are you doing that here?”
“I feel very liberated,” Pelosi said, at one point. If this is how she shows it, then a liberated Nancy Pelosi is a very good thing.
Speaker Pelosi: “He has shredded the truth in his speech. He’s shredding the constitution in his conduct. I shredded his state of his mind address.” pic.twitter.com/2tQPfgCUgN
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) February 6, 2020