During an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke of her controversial decision to tear up Donald Trump’s speech at the State of the Union Address earlier this month, Breitbart reports. The viral moment was both praised and criticized, with some perceiving it as a way of outshining the president and others calling it unseemly for someone of Pelosi’s political stature.
According to the 79-year-old politician, the stunt was not planned before the State of the Union.
“I was reading ahead. I knew what was there. I got through a third of it, and I thought this is terrible. I made a nitch on a couple of pages, thinking I ought to remember what’s on this page, this page. Then I realized that almost every page had something in it that was objectionable. So it wasn’t a planned thing.”
Per CBS News, Democrats were angered at Trump’s speech, which ignored health care and bragged about the economy under his presidency. Pelosi claims that she was disappointed in the lack of press on legislative accomplishments such as raising the minimum wage, climate action, and gun violence protection, among other things.
“And it seems if you want to get press, you have to get attention,” she said. “I thought, well, let’s get attention on the fact that what he said here today was not true.”
Speaker Nancy Pelosi on ripping up SOTU: "I had no intention of doing that when we went to the State of the Union... Most every page had something in it that was objectionable." pic.twitter.com/ax5jSDqLWO— The Hill (@thehill) February 16, 2020
In the same interview, Pelosi touched on Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his poor showing in Iowa and New Hampshire. Although Bernie Sanders is now widely seen as the front-runner in the Democratic primary, Pelosi said she’s not counting out Biden just yet.
Pelosi expressed her belief that all of the candidates would be a better option than Trump. However, she also noted that there are many other states outside of Iowa and New Hampshire that she believes are more representative of the country, suggesting that the former vice president could pick up delegates in these regions.
Per Newsweek, Pelosi also used her CNN interview to address Trump’s impeachment by the House and his subsequent acquittal by the Republican-led Senate. Pelosi told Amanpour that she doesn’t believe Trump was truly acquitted because there was not a proper trial, referring to the lack of additional witnesses and documents that Democrats failed to secure.
Pelosi added that Trump is “impeached forever” and “not vindicated.” She also praised Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, who was the only Republican senator to vote to remove Trump from office.