Nancy Pelosi's withering reactions to Trump's State of the Union address are going viral

  • 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.


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This is the moment:

The internet saw it as both withering and sarcastic.

And some turned it into a meme.

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.

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.”

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.”

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