"It was the courteous thing to do considering the alternative," Pelosi explained

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made clear her feelings on President Donald Trump‘s latest State of the Union: As soon as he was done addressing Congress on Tuesday night, she stood and began tearing up her copy of his remarks.

The highly unusual moment — a reflection of the tension between House Democrats and the president, whom they impeached over his Ukraine scandal — took observers and TV pundits by surprise.

Afterward, she told reporters, “It was the courteous thing to do considering the alternative.”

“It was such a dirty speech,” she said.

Trump supporters quickly slammed the move as disrespectful and the White House later tweeted similar disapproval while the president retweeted many criticisms of Pelosi.

The speaker had defenders on social media, too, and some began comparing the moment to a scene from The Sound of Music in which Christopher Plummer’s character tears a Nazi flag. Soon, the comparison became a GIF.

Nancy Pelosi
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tearing up a copy of President Donald Trump’s State of the Union on Tuesday
| Credit: MANDEL NGAN/Getty Images
Donald Trump
President Donald Trump at Tuesday’s State of the Union
| Credit: OLIVIER DOULIERY/Getty Images

Trump, 73, and Pelosi, 79, have had a volatile relationship, with multiple altercations since he was elected in 2016.

Tuesday’s State of the Union, coming during Trump’s ongoing impeachment trial in the Senate on charges he abused his power and obstructed Congress, reflected that dissension.

The president ignored Pelosi’s offer of a handshake when giving her a copy of his speech and, later, she was seen shaking her head “no” when he told the assembled senators and representatives, “I keep my promises.”

In a subtler sign of their differences, Pelosi also wore the same pin as when she opened the impeachment debate about Trump.