In a new television interview, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she had not planned to tear up her copy of President Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech until she read it, saw it was “terrible,” and wanted to “get attention” to its “objectionable” parts.
Speaking with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in an excerpted portion of an interview set to air on Monday, Pelosi defended herself amid heavy criticism from Republicans for tearing up her copy of the speech after Trump finished his remarks on Feb. 4.
“I had no intention of doing that when we went to the State of the Union,” Pelosi said.
After reading through about a third of the speech, she said she thought, “this is terrible,” and “realized that almost every page had something in it that was objectionable.”
Pelosi said she was disappointed with the speech’s failure to mention any of the legislation House Democrats had passed, and “we had little press on it, and it seems that if you want to get press, you have to get attention, so I thought, well, let’s get attention on the fact that what he said here today was not true.”
Pelosi noted she was “departing” from her usual policy of not criticizing the president while overseas, as the CNN interview was conducted at the Munich Security Forum.
“I’m not talking about him personally. I’m just talking about his State of the Union address,” she said.
Pelosi’s act of protest was met with fury by Republicans, who denounced her actions as offensive to soldiers mentioned during the speech, as well as a breach of decorum towards the president. House Republicans introduced a measure to condemn her remarks, but the House voted to set the measure aside on a party-line vote on Feb. 6. Read more