US President Donald Trump ignores speaker of House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi.
US President Donald Trump ignores speaker of House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi.
Screengrab

In a dramatic gesture, Nancy Pelosi publicly tore up her copy of Donald Trump’s annual State of the Union address, signalling the worsening relationship between the House Speaker and the US President.

Pelosi has been one of Trump’s fiercest critics and the top Democrat was the one who first launched formal impeachment process in the House of Representatives against the president last year. President Trump has frequently taunted the 79-year-old lawmaker as “Crazy Nancy”.

When the 73-year-old Republican president stepped up to the rostrum in the House of Representatives and handed her his speech, Pelosi rose and extended her hand to shake his. Trump turned his back, and Pelosi quickly withdrew her hand. The mutual snubbing began the moment Trump, seeking re-election, walked into the House chamber on Tuesday night for his third State of the Union address in which he touted his administration's achievements during the past three years. It was the first time the two had come face-to-face since she stormed out of a White House meeting four months ago.

On Tuesday night, the sour dynamic was on display to all from the start, The New York Times noted.

The tensions over impeachment appeared to surface early on, however, as Pelosi refused to introduce Trump by saying it was her "distinct honour" and "high privilege" to do so, as is tradition. Instead, she simply introduced him as the President of the United States, Fox News, said to be Trump's favourite news channel, reported.

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