Trump spoke about a number of expected topics including the U.S. economy, trade agreements and immigration during the State of the Union on Tuesday night in the House chamber. And as he finished, cameras captured Pelosi tearing up her papers.
Why the ripping? “Because it was a manifesto of mistruths,” she told reporters afterward of the move.
The Speaker of the House has gone all-in on opposing Trump, and the President’s impeachment trial is expected to come to a close Wednesday afternoon, with Trump expected to be acquitted by the Senate.
Pelosi’s defiant move after Trump’s State of the Union afforded the Internet an instant flash point.
“me ripping up student loan late payment notices,” one user captioned the moment.
“Me tearing up the chore list my mom would leave me during summer break,” another user joked.
Les Misérables was invoked.
It wasn’t the only fun the internet had with Pelosi and papers of course.
At the State of the Union last year, Pelosi clapping was the major meme moment as Americans watching got down to captioning a photo snapped by New York Times photographer Doug Mills. It captured, in a brief moment, Trump appearing to turn back to face Pelosi as she clapped with outstretched arms. The jokes ranged from silly to pointed.
The internet took it as a clapback. But interestingly, Pelosi emphasized in interviews the following day that in that precise moment she was showing genuine support at the time for his statements. Trump had just delivered this line: “We must reject the politics of revenge, resistance and retribution and embrace the boundless potential of cooperation, compromise and the common good.” The message of bipartisan cooperation was one the Democratic leader could get behind at that point in time, and said she did so with her clap.