It was an incredible ending to a partisan standoff, quite a different moment than the 2019 presidential address that had a viral moment when Pelosi appeared to give a mocking clap toward Trump, having just defeated him in a 35-day standoff over a partial government shutdown.
A few minutes later, after most members had left the House floor, Pelosi left the podium and walked down an aisle on the floor, looking to her family, friends and special guests in the box of seats reserved for the speaker. She pulled out the ripped-apart speech and started waving it to her guests, which included her husband, Paul Pelosi, D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) and others.
One of the customs of the address is that the president brings paper copies of his prepared remarks when he arrives, handing one set to the House speaker and the other to the vice president — who serves as president of the Senate — an official record-keeping maneuver for the two chambers.
Rest assured, the House will need to use another copy of Trump’s remarks for history’s sake. Pelosi placed them in a blue folder and, after a brief huddle with two of her impeachment managers, Reps. Val Demings (D-Fla.) and Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), left the floor.
Later, asked by reporters why she had torn up Trump’s speech, Pelosi replied, “It was the courteous thing to do, considering the alternative.”