The dramatic moment showed her tear and then toss the pages behind Trump’s back as he embraced a standing ovation at the conclusion of his address.
“It was the courteous thing to do, considering the alternatives,” Pelosi told a reporter who questioned her destruction.
Trump and Pelosi had a rough start to the night, with the president appearing to snub Pelosi’s outstretched hand as he approached the lectern. When she minutes later introduced him, she left out any praise of him.
Ordinarily, the speaker would declare: “I have the high privilege and distinct honor of presenting to you the president of the United States.”
Pelosi instead clipped it down to: “Members of Congress, the president of the United States.”
Several Democratic lawmakers walked out of Trump’s speech, including Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Tim Ryan of Ohio and Bill Pascrell of New Jersey.
“The lies, the bigotry, and the shameless bragging about taking away food stamps that people depend on to live — it was all beneath the dignity of the office he occupies,” Tlaib later tweeted. “Shame on this forever impeached president.”