Two freshman House Democrats confronted Nancy Pelosi on Thursday over her ripping up the text of President Trump‘s State of the Union address, telling the speaker her actions were ‘inappropriate’ and ‘disrespectful.’
Reps. Joe Cunningham of South Carolina and Ben McAdams of Utah confronted Pelosi on the House floor when lawmakers were voting on a Republican resolution that expressed disapproval of the speaker’s tearing up the president’s remarks.
Democrats easily defended the GOP effort to publicly chastise Pelosi, voting to table the resolution 224 to 193.
Two freshman House Democrats confronted Nancy Pelosi over her ripping up the text of President Trump’s State of the Union address
Democratic Reps. Joe Cunningham of South Carolina and Ben McAdams of Utah confronted Speaker Pelosi on the House floor on Thursday afternoon
It’s unusual for freshmen members of Congress to criticize the leader of their party. But McAdams and Cunningham come from more red-leaning districts. Neither lawmaker voted for Pelosi for speaker when she ran in January of last year.
McAdams told The Washington Post he told the speaker her move ‘was inappropriate and that we deserve better than that.’
‘I thought it was disrespectful,’ he said. ‘I found things that I agreed with and things that I didn’t agree with in the president’s speech, but I thought that that was beneath us.’
Cunningham said he found ‘some blame on both sides’ for the partisanship on display at Tuesday’s address.
Republicans shouted ‘four more years’ when President Trump came into the House chamber to give his address – a chant heard more often at campaign rallies than in the halls the Congress.
‘Look, I disapprove of the president snubbing her handshake. I disapprove of her tearing up the speech,’ Cunningham said. ‘I didn’t come up here to to amplify it or fan those flames. I came here to extinguish them.’
Pelosi continued criticism of the president’s State of the Union address on Thursday, calling it a ‘reality show’ instead of a national address and explaining her decision to rip up her copy.
‘I tore up a manifesto of mistruths,’ Pelosi said of her move.
‘And I don’t need any lessons from anybody – especially the President of the United States – about dignity,’ Pelosi continued.
‘Is it Ok to start saying, ‘Four more years’ in the House of Representatives?’ she questioned, referencing the Republicans’ chant.
‘It’s just unheard of,’ she lamented. ‘Is it unheard of for the president to insult people there who don’t share his view, as well as to misrepresent – present falsehoods… So, no. I think it was completely, entirely appropriate. And considering some of the other exuberances within me, the courteous thing to do.’
The extraordinary clash between the two started when with Trump snubbed Pelosi’s outstretched hand after he came into the House chamber Tuesday night to give his annual speech.
Trump handed Pelosi a copy of his speech when he reached the speaker’s dais – the same place she presided over his impeachment vote two months ago – but simply turned away as the Speaker took her copy of his speech, then stood in front of a chamber which echoed with cries of ‘four more years’ from Republicans – and where Democrats sat stone-faced.
Pelosi was visibly taken aback after Trump turned away from her offer.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ripped apart her copy of President Trump’s State of the Union address after he finished speaking on Tuesday night
Earlier, Trump delivered an astonishing snub to Nancy Pelosi as he started his State of the Union speech Tuesday, ignoring her as she offered him a handshake
Trump’s speech was so contentious and divisive that Pelosi tore it up when the president was done speaking. As he left the dais, she ripped the pages in half and threw them down. Democratic lawmakers also fled the chamber in droves when Trump was done talking.
‘I tore it up,’ Pelosi told reporters after the speech was over. ‘It was the courteous thing to do considering the alternative. It was such a dirty speech.’
The Democrats’ criticism came as Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz, a top ally of President Trump, asked the leaders of the House Ethics Committee to investigate y Pelosi for ripping up her copy of the president’s State of the Union speech.
‘She disgraced the House of Representatives, she embarrassed our country and she destroyed official records – the law does not allow the speaker of the House to destroy the records of the House,’ Gaetz said, previewing his move on Laura Ingraham’s Fox News Channel show. ‘And the rules of the House do not permit some little temper tantrum just because you don’t like what the president of the United States says.’
Late Wednesday night, Gaetz tweeted a copy of the letter he sent to Rep. Ted Deutch, the chairman of the House Ethics Committee, and Rep. Kenny Marchant, the GOP‘s ranking member, where he calls Pelosi’s actions ‘deeply offensive’ while claiming she broke a U.S. code that prohibits officials from destroying government records.
Rep. Matt Gaetz, a top Trump ally, sent a letter to the leaders of the House Ethics Committee Wednesday night asking them to investigate House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for ripping up a copy of President Trump’s State of the Union address
In the final moments that President Trump was in the House chamber Tuesday night, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stood behind him and ripped up his State of the Union speech
President Trump complimented Rep. Matt Gaetz during his speech in the East Room Thursday, which celebrated his impeachment acquittal
Politifact had already taken a look at that claim, as it was also made by Turning Point USA’s Charlie Kirk, a conservative youth activist, and called it ‘pants on fire.’
Experts told the fact-checker that Pelosi did not violate the law because her copy of the president’s speech wasn’t technically a government record.
‘Her copy of the State of the Union address is not a government record or government property at all,’ Douglas Cox, a professor of law at the City of New York University of Law told Politifact. ‘It is personal property.’
During Gaetz’s appearance, Ingraham also cast doubt on his argument that Pelosi was a law-breaker.
The Fox News Channel host did buy another point Gaetz made – that there was a double standard.
‘And you know what, a lot of Republicans are sick of the double standard here,’ Gaetz said.
The Florida Republican reminded the Fox audience of the ‘excited utterance’ made in September 2009 by Republican Rep. Joe Wilson when President Obama was addressing a joint session of Congress on the topic of healthcare.
Wilson shouted ‘You lie!’ at the Democratic president – a shocking outburst at the time.
‘The Democrats really brought the heat down on him when he said Obama lied about illegals getting healthcare,’ Gaetz said, adding that he agreed with Wilson’s sentiment.