Two days after ripping up her copy of his State of the Union speech, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tore into President Trump over his “manifesto of mistruths.”
“As you know, this week we had the State of the Union that is required by the Constitution of the United States,” Pelosi said Thursday at her weekly press conference on Capitol Hill. “The president is to submit in writing or in person his statement of the state of the union. What happened instead was the president using the Congress of the United States as a backdrop of a reality show, presenting a state of mind that had no contact with reality whatsoever.”
Pelosi said it was “appalling” to hear the president claim in his speech that he was protecting Americans with preexisting medical conditions under the Affordable Care Act “when in fact he has done everything to dismantle it.”
An ongoing lawsuit, brought by the Trump administration and backed by the Justice Department, would result in the overturning of the Affordable Care Act if it succeeds. In that case, many Americans with preexisting conditions could lose their coverage entirely or face significantly higher premiums, unless and until an alternative is passed.
“That misrepresentation was appalling and so clearly untrue,” Pelosi said.
Mounting the podium in the House chamber for his speech, Trump handed a copy of his address to Vice President Mike Pence and another to Pelosi, who extended her hand to the president. Trump turned away without shaking it.
The House speaker said that had nothing to do with her decision to rip up her copy of his address.
“I tore up a manifesto of mistruths,” Pelosi said. “It was necessary to get the attention of the American people to say this is not true. And this is how it affects you.”
The House speaker denied that her act was beneath the dignity of her office.
“I don’t need any lessons from anybody, especially from the president of the United States, about dignity,” Pelosi said. “I have tried to be gracious with him. I am always dignified. I thought that was a very dignified act.”
She also took issue with Trump’s decision to award the Presidential Medal of Freedom to radio host Rush Limbaugh during the State of the Union.
“Do it in your own office,” Pelosi said.
In a speech at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C., earlier Thursday, Trump lashed out at Pelosi and Republican Sen. Mitt Romney, who crossed party lines in voting to remove him from office.
Pelosi, who attended the breakfast and spoke before Trump, called Trump’s comments “so inappropriate.”
“He’s talking about things he knows little about,” she added. “Faith and prayer.”
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