“What happened instead was the president using the Congress of the United States as a backdrop of a reality show, presenting a state of mind that had no contact with reality whatsoever,” she told reporters on Thursday.
She pointed specifically to one of the reality show moments of the speech, when Trump had First Lady Melania Trump present the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Rush Limbaugh in the House chamber. Limbaugh announced on Monday that he has an advanced for of lung cancer.
Pelosi saw the medal moment as overstepping the boundaries of the White House and Congress.
“Do it in your own office,” she told reporters at a press conference. “We don’t come into your office and do congressional business. Why are you doing that here?”
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She also criticized congressional Republicans for shouting “Four more years!” at one moment during the speech.
Pelosi, of course, stole the limelight from Trump at the end of his speech when, standing right behind him, she ripped up a copy of the address. Trump and his supporters reacted with furor over the action, but much of the post-SOTU punditry focused on that moment.
Pelosi was unapologetic about that moment, and said that she felt “very liberated,” calling the text of Trump’s remarks a “manifesto of mistruths.” She said that she did a speed read of the remarks and thought, “There has to be something that clearly indicates to the American people that this was not the truth.”
Earlier on Thursday, Trump and Pelosi were again in the same room together for the National Prayer Breakfast. The president did not make contact with her, and said to the crowd, “I don’t like people who use their faith as justification for doing what they know is wrong. Nor do I like people who say, ‘I pray for you’ when they know that that’s not so. So many people have been hurt, and we can’t let that go on.” Trump also was referring to Mitt Romney, who said that he leaned on his faith in ultimately deciding to cast a vote that the president was guilty of one Article of Impeachment, for abuse of power.
Pelosi told reporters after the Prayer Breakfast that she continues to pray for Trump and does so “sincerely,” but that his remarks were “complete inappropriate.”
Trump was holding an event at the White House where he will address the Senate’s acquittal on Thursday.
Asked if she would invite Trump to deliver the State of the Union address next year, Pelosi said, “Next year we will have a new president of the United States. That is an absolute imperative for our country.”
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