A bitter feud between President Donald Trump and top Democrat Nancy Pelosi boiled over at his State of the Union speech on Tuesday, with Trump snubbing her outstretched hand and Pelosi ripping apart a copy of his remarks behind his back.
Trump avoided the subject of his impeachment drama in a pugnacious 80-minute speech, but the scars from the battle were evident with fellow Republicans giving him standing ovations while rival Democrats for the most part remained seated.
The Republican-led Senate was expected to acquit him on Wednesday of charges he abused his powers and obstructed Congress.
Seeing Pelosi, the U.S. House of Representatives speaker, for the first time since she stormed out of a White House meeting four months ago, he declined to shake her outstretched hand as he gave her a copy of his remarks before starting his speech.
Having not spoken to Trump since their last meeting, Pelosi appeared to be taken aback. She avoided citing the customary "high privilege and distinct honor" that usually accompanies the speaker's introduction of the president to Congress.
"Members of Congress, the President of the United States" was all she said in introducing Trump.
When his speech ended, Pelosi stood and tore up her copy of the remarks he had handed her, later telling reporters it was "the courteous thing to do, considering the alternative."
It was a sign that little legislative progress should be expected over the next year. The impeachment case has intensified bitter feelings between Trump and Pelosi that have existed throughout his presidency.
As he began the speech, Republicans from both houses of Congress chanted "four more years" while he stood at the lectern in the chamber of the House with a presidential election almost exactly nine months away.
Democrats sat silently and some could be seen shaking their heads as Trump declared, "The state of our union is stronger than ever before."
Pelosi, who dropped her opposition to impeachment and allowed Democratic lawmakers to seek the charges against him, sat stoically and grim-faced behind Trump and paged through a paper copy of his speech.