President Donald Trump has endured a months-long impeachment effort, a year of partisan investigations from House Democrats, and several years of concerted leftist “resistance” to his every move, all of which was directed by or permitted with the blessing of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).
With all of that and then some in mind, consider the debate that is currently raging on social media: Did President Trump deliberately snub an offered handshake from Speaker Pelosi at the start of his State of the Union address on Tuesday?
The non-handshake seen round the world
Breitbart reported that the supposed snub occurred right after President Trump approached the lectern and handed copies of his prepared speech to both Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker Pelosi, who were positioned behind him on the dais, as is customary.
Trump first delivered a copy of his remarks to Pence and then handed one to Pelosi, who, after receiving it, appeared to extend her hand toward the president.
He did not reciprocate, however, and quickly turned to face the members of Congress and invited guests arrayed in front of him in the House chamber. Take a look:
— QuickTake by Bloomberg (@QuickTake) February 5, 2020
While what happened has been widely characterized as a “snub” on Trump’s part against Pelosi, there is nonetheless some debate as to whether he even noticed Pelosi’s extended hand as he immediately turned to face the audience.
It has also been noted that he didn’t shake hands with Pence — suggesting that perhaps handshakes weren’t part of the planned protocol — and he likely wasn’t expecting any sort of conciliatory gesture from Pelosi, given their tumultuous history together.
One shouldn’t feel too bad for Pelosi, though, as she quickly got her revenge in more ways than one.
Breitbart noted that when Pelosi officially introduced Trump, she said only, “the President of the United States,” leaving out the traditional phrase, “I have the high privilege and distinct honor of presenting to you the President of the United States.”
Furthermore, The Hill reported that Pelosi barely looked at Trump during his speech, only joined in applause and ovations on a select few occasions, shook her head negatively, mumbled unheard retorts at several of his lines, and generally struck a defiant and displeased appearance throughout the address.
All of that was capped off with Pelosi’s grand finale of resistance: very purposefully ripping up Trump’s speech in front of everyone immediately after he concluded his address.
— CSPAN (@cspan) February 5, 2020
President Trump may or may not have deliberately snubbed Pelosi’s offered handshake, but regardless, Pelosi repaid that purported snub with interest — and in doing so, she effectively trampled on any hopes of bipartisanship for the coming year.