In a little-noticed breach of protocol, President Trump began his State of the Union speech before House Speaker Nancy Pelosi could introduce him.
The Speaker of the House typically makes the introduction once the president reaches the dais, but Trump immediately began speaking when he arrived at the podium.
One senior House Democratic aide acknowledged to the Daily Mail that Trump “blew through the customary introduction by the speaker” Tuesday night.
The President did acknowledge Pelosi’s presence, however.
“Thank you very much, Madam Speaker, Vice President, members of Congress, the first lady of the United States,” he began.
The snub, according to one CBS News Radio reporter, seemed to ‘surprise’ the Speaker.
Very strange —
Trump did not wait for the Speaker to introduce him to the Congress, which is the protocol …
Pelosi looked surprised that Trump began without waiting for her to introduce him.
— Steven Portnoy (@stevenportnoy) February 6, 2019
Pelosi Says No Snub
When asked about Trump’s breach of tradition, Pelosi seemed to think it didn’t actually happen.
“What do you mean? I introduced him,” Pelosi told reporters who had inquired. “I did introduce him. I said, ‘Members of Congress, I present you the president of the United States.’ There was no snub.”
It happened so fast everyone missed it, Pelosi, who is not known as a speed talker, hinted.
“It went quickly, I guess.”
So quickly several major news organizations missed it.
I’m told Speaker Pelosi was planning to introduce the president before his #SOTU address (just like Paul Ryan did in 2018.)
But Trump blew right through it.
— Melanie Zanona (@MZanona) February 6, 2019
— Travel Troll (@supercrossjunki) February 6, 2019
Trump’s shun didn’t appear to be intentional, as he and Pelosi shared a cordial handshake prior to his speech.
An initial line suggested that the Congress and the White House should work together for the betterment of the nation.
“I stand here ready to work with you to achieve historic breakthroughs for all Americans,” the President said, adding that Americans are “hoping that we will govern not as two parties, but as one nation.”
Pelosi and Trump have had an up and down relationship in the time they’ve worked together.
It was the President who famously supported her on separate occasions when she was vying for the Speakership. He even offered to help get her votes from Republican lawmakers.
The pair took shots at each other during the shutdown, with Pelosi postponing the President’s speech and laying the blame at his feet.
House Members sitting on an Air Force bus b/t the Longworth and Rayburn House Office Buildings waiting to see if they are still going overseas after Trump cancelled the trip. pic.twitter.com/e5IgidRPZu
— Jason Donner (@jason_donner) January 17, 2019
Trump responded by canceling an overseas trip for Democrats and Pelosi while they were waiting on a bus to head out.
With another shutdown looming, it’ll be interesting to see what other fireworks lie ahead for these two.
Read more at the Political Insider