- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had some subtle reactions to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address on Tuesday – and the internet noticed.
- Pelosi spent most of the time politely smiling, but footage of some of her movements went viral, including her applause for Trump after he called for an end to “the politics of revenge.”
- Pelosi raised her eyebrows and looked directly at the president, who had turned around to face her as she clapped. Now it has become a meme.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s dismissive reactions to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address on Tuesday are going viral.
Pelosi was sitting behind Trump for the 82-minute speech, meaning many TV cameras captured her reactions right over Trump’s shoulder.
People online eagerly shared images of Pelosi pursing her lips, raising her eyebrows, and interacting with Democrats in the crowd in a way that they suggested detracted from Trump’s message.
Perhaps the most widely shared moment was Pelosi’s mocking round of applause for Trump early in his speech.
This is the moment:
— Brian Koerber (@bkurbs) February 6, 2019
The internet saw it as both withering and sarcastic.
— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) February 6, 2019
Here’s that applause you so desperately need, boo. pic.twitter.com/cdt6tTQ4nf
— R. Eric Thomas (@oureric) February 6, 2019
Through a single clap, Speaker Pelosi tells Trump she’s going to dog walk him. Iconic picture for the ages. pic.twitter.com/ooP8DYGU2m
— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) February 6, 2019
And some turned it into a meme.
When I tell my wife I changed a diaper. pic.twitter.com/N2ncXAuUb2
— Mikel Jollett (@Mikel_Jollett) February 6, 2019
— Steadman™ (@AsteadWesley) February 6, 2019
Pelosi also spent a lot of time looking at a stack of large papers in front of her, rather than the president.
Pelosi was reading a copy of Trump’s speech, her spokesman told The New York Times.
I see Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s strategy tonight:
Read the paper copy of Trump’s script when you know you can’t hold your poker face.
— Jason K. Morrell (@CNNJason) February 6, 2019
Pelosi’s subtle interactions with Democrats in the crowd also got widespread attention.
At one point she held up a hand to try to quiet Democrats who jeered as Trump spoke about migrant caravans.
Another time she encouraged Democrats to get up and cheer when Trump referred to the record number of women in Congress.
Many also noted Pelosi’s eye roll when Trump described investigations like the special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe as “ridiculous” and “partisan.”
Here for Nancy Pelosi's eye roll. pic.twitter.com/0ssrW1EOwu
— Brian Tyler Cohen (@briantylercohen) February 6, 2019
While there were moments of unity between Trump and Pelosi during the address, Pelosi’s statement after the speech called on Trump to change his priorities.
She said it would “take days to fact-check all the misrepresentations that the President made” and accused him of “fear-mongering and manufacturing a crisis at the border.”
Pelosi praised some of Trump’s promises, particularly related to healthcare, but questioned how he would achieve them.
Echoing Trump’s calls for unity, Pelosi said Trump “must now take concrete steps to work with Democrats to strengthen the health and economic security of families across America.”
- Read more State of the Union coverage:
- Trump leans into fear-based rhetoric on immigration in State of the Union as he pressures Democrats for wall funding
- The ‘future’ of the Democratic Party, Stacey Abrams, made her national debut in the party’s response to Trump’s State of the Union
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.