Americans were rightly outraged by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's State of the Union stunt earlier this month. As soon as President Trump concluded his remarks, she stood up and dramatically ripped a copy of his speech to shreds. The Republican National Committee was quick to use her immature display in an ad, accusing her of disrespecting the veterans and survivors Trump had honored in his speech.
At his Manchester rally last week, the president also recalled Pelosi "mumbling" to herself throughout his speech, which he joked was pretty distracting.
"Let me say this: I had no intention of doing that when we went to the State of the Union," according to the speaker. "In fact, I was well into past the first third of it. I'm a speed reader so I was reading ahead so I knew what was there. I got past about a third of it and I thought, 'This is terrible.'"
At one point in her interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour, Pelosi again argued that she really tried not to rip it up.
"I thought if I could find a page that doesn't have a falsehood on it, I'll spare it," she explained. "But I couldn't find that."
One moment in particular, she claimed, nearly stopped her in her tracks.
"I almost did when I saw the soldier was coming home, that was so beautiful," she said. "But, get back to the bottom of the page and there he goes again."
She was talking about this moment here, when Trump surprised military spouse Amy Williams with a reunion with her husband Sergeant First Class Townsend Williams, who had spent the last seven months in Afghanistan.
"But Amy, there’s one more thing," the president said. "Tonight we have a very special surprise. Your husband is back from deployment. He is here with us tonight. And we couldn’t keep him waiting any longer."
Williams walked down the stairs to embrace his family. And Pelosi is right, it was beautiful. The rest of what she said was nonsense. There's no explaining why she tore up a speech that was dedicated to some of America's finest.
Speaker Pelosi just ripped up:— The White House (@WhiteHouse) February 5, 2020
One of our last surviving Tuskegee Airmen.
The survival of a child born at 21 weeks.
The mourning families of Rocky Jones and Kayla Mueller.
A service member's reunion with his family.
That's her legacy.
Trump voters I spoke with at his Manchester rally last Monday called Pelosi's action "disrespectful." One man suggested she should be jailed for ripping up a public document. Others had more colorful things to say.