Home World America Donald Trump snubs Nancy Pelosi’s handshake — and other key moments from the State of the Union address

Donald Trump snubs Nancy Pelosi’s handshake — and other key moments from the State of the Union address


The State of the Union address gives US presidents the opportunity to update the nation and the world on their progress, policies, hurdles and priorities.

Donald Trump’s latest address was just as much about everyone else’s reactions to what he was saying — and not all of them were favourable.

Trump was greeted by chanting

Mr Trump entered the room to a standing ovation, but only from one side.

Republicans enthusiastically chanted “four more years” as the President walked through the crowd to the podium.

The Democrats were notably silent.

Then Pelosi got snubbed

One of the most talked-about moments happened before the opening remarks were even made.

As Mr Trump reached the podium, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reached out for a handshake.

Whether he missed it or ignored it on purpose, Mr Trump left Ms Pelosi hanging.

But Pelosi made her views clear

Ms Pelosi looked unimpressed throughout the address, and at the end she showed everyone how she really felt.

As the rest of the room applauded, she stood up and ripped her copy of the President’s address in half.

She later told reporters it was “the courteous thing to do, considering the alternative”.

Meanwhile, like last year, Ms Pelosi and many other Democratic senators dressed in white for the speech to mark the anniversary of the 19th amendment to the US constitution, which gave women the right to vote.

Trump talked up America’s economy, jobs, military and … Space Force!

Mr Trump kicked off his address on a high note, saying the country’s economy was the best it had ever been and the United States’ future was “blazing bright”.

“Jobs are booming, incomes are soaring … crime is falling, confidence is surging, and our country is thriving and highly respected again,” he said.

On employment opportunities and economic growth, he touted 7 million new jobs created since his election.

“The unemployment rate is the lowest in over half a century and, very incredibly, the average unemployment rate under my administration is lower than any administration in the history of our country,” he said.

On health care — a divisive topic for both the Republicans and the Democrats — Mr Trump vowed Americans would never be blindsided by medical bills.

“That is why I signed an executive order requiring price transparency,” he said.

“I want you to know, we will never let socialism destroy American healthcare.”

Democrats were audibly unimpressed and started chanting “HR 3, HR 3” in reference to their own healthcare bill.

Mr Trump promoted his administration’s $2.2-trillion investment in the US military.

“We have purchased the finest planes, missiles, rockets, ships and every other form of military equipment, and it’s all made right here in the USA,” he said.

“We are also getting our allies, finally, to help pay their fair share.”

Then came Space Force, a brand-new branch of the US armed forces.

Mr Trump introduced a special guest for that topic, 13-year-old Ian McGee who said he dreams of going to space, and who also happens to be the grandson of Charles McGee, a veteran who was just promoted to Brigadier General.

There was a special guest from Venezuela

Many special guests were worked into the President’s address, but one special guest came all the way from Venezuela.

That was opposition leader Juan Guaido.

You might remember him from the failed coup back in May 2019, when he called for a military uprising against President Nicolas Maduro.

In his address, Mr Trump called Mr Maduro an “illegitimate ruler”, a “tyrant who brutalises his people”, and someone whose “grip on tyranny will be smashed and broken”.

“Here this evening is a very brave man who carries with him the hopes, dreams and aspirations of all Venezuelans,” Mr Trump said.

The President referred to Mr Guaido as his counterpart.

“Mr President, please take this message back, that all Americans are united with the Venezuelan people in their righteous struggle for freedom,” Mr Trump said.

And no-one mentioned the ‘i’ word

In the almost 90-minute address, there was no reference to the impeachment saga.

The Senate is expected to acquit Mr Trump on Wednesday.

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