Trump was barely done, turning to greet the crowd of lawmakers Tuesday night, when Pelosi, without a moment's delay, tore the papers in her hand.
Asked afterward in the halls of the Capitol why she did it, Pelosi responded: "It was the courteous thing to do." She added: "It was the courteous thing to do considering the alternative. It was such a dirty speech."
Speaker Pelosi just ripped up:— The White House (@WhiteHouse) February 5, 2020
One of our last surviving Tuskegee Airmen.
The survival of a child born at 21 weeks.
The mourning families of Rocky Jones and Kayla Mueller.
A service member's reunion with his family.
That's her legacy.
Pelosi's rip came after another awkward moment before the address in which Trump appeared to decline to shake Pelosi's hand.
SEE ALSO: State of the Union 2020 fact check
At the start of the State of the Union address Tuesday it appeared that Pelosi extended her hand to Trump, a gesture amid the divisive impeachment proceedings.
The president was presenting folios to Pelosi and Vice President Mike Pence as he arrived for the evening speech when it appears she reached for the shake. At the same time, Trump turned away from her to face the audience of lawmakers gathered for the annual address.
Pelosi gave a look.
She later tweeted: "Democrats will never stop extending the hand of friendship to get the job done #ForThePeople. We will work to find common ground where we can, but will stand our ground where we cannot. #SOTU"
Democrats will never stop extending the hand of friendship to get the job done #ForThePeople. We will work to find common ground where we can, but will stand our ground where we cannot. #SOTU pic.twitter.com/ELJqR9q4xD— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) February 5, 2020
The speaker led House Democrats in impeaching Trump last month on charges he abused power and obstructed Congress in the Ukraine matter. The Senate is poised to acquit him Wednesday of the two articles of impeachment.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.