WASHINGTON – Speaker Nancy Pelosi invited President Donald Trump to address Congress but she was not always happy with the things her special House guest had to say.
The two smiled gamely as Trump handed a copy of his speech in a large blue folder to Pelosi and Vice President Mike Pence, sitting next to the speaker in his role as Senate president. They then shook hands.
Pelosi was dressed in a white pantsuit, joining other women lawmakers who marked the speech by wearing the color associated with women's suffrage and other equal rights issues. She sported a gold "Mace of the House" brooch symbolizing the power of her office, a gift several former lawmakers recently presented her, Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said.
Pence wearing a bright blue tie, dark suit and white shirt, greeted Pelosi about half an hour before the president arrived. Their interaction appeared infrequent and awkward as if they were unfamiliar co-workers at a lame office party.
Pelosi clapped as Trump introduced first lady Melania Trump sitting in a box above the floor. She also joined in applauding three World War II veterans and Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin.
Pelosi stood up and applauded when the president spoke words that were magnanimous and bipartisan.
"There is a new opportunity in American politics, if only we have the courage to seize it," Trump said. "Victory is not winning for our party. Victory is winning for our country."
Later, Pelosi and Pence joined the entire chamber in a standing ovation when Trump mentioned the successful First Step Act, a criminal justice reform bill.
But as the speech went on, Pelosi could be seen reading over Trump's left shoulder the speech with a smirk.
As Trump touted tax cuts passed by Congress in 2017, Pence clapped, but Pelosi did not. Democrats have viewed the cuts as favoring the wealthy. The same dynamic took place when he touted deregulation, which Democrats view as bad for the environment and public health.
And when Trump declared that "the state of our union is strong," Pelosi sat quietly while Republican lawmakers began chanting "USA, USA, USA."
It got worse when Trump scolded lawmakers for the ongoing congressional probes into the Trump campaigns ties to Russia. The Democratic-controlled House is planning probes into Trump's businesses as well.
"If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation," he said. "It just doesn't work that way!"
Lips pursed with an icy stare, Pelosi was not amused.
Things went more sour when the president brought up his signature demand of a border wall.
"In the past, most of the people in this room voted for a wall – but the proper wall never got built," Trump said. "I'll get it built."
As Trump thundered and Pence clapped, Pelosi quietly wore a wry smile and looked toward the equally unmoved Democrats to her right.
The dynamic warmed considerably when Trump noted that more women had been elected to Congress than ever before. Pelosi broke out in a broad grin and encouraged her caucus to stand up and cheer.
Contributing: Eliza Collins
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: State of the Union: On the podium, Nancy Pelosi shifts between nice and ice with President Trump, VP Mike Pence