'Disgusting' moment stuns audience at Donald Trump's State of the Union speech

Olivia Lambert
News Editor

The US President’s State of the Union address started awkwardly with Donald Trump appearing to snub a handshake from House speaker Nancy Pelosi.

As Trump fronted the House chamber for his third State of the Union address, Ms Pelosi extended a hand as he passed her a binder.

It appears as though Trump is giving her the cold shoulder, turning his back and and taking his place at the front of the chamber for his address.

Ms Pelosi, a top Democrat and the first woman in US history to hold her position, appears to be embarrassed by the encounter streamed to millions – smiling and awkwardly nodding towards the president after he turns his back.

Ms Pelosi has been a constant thorn in Trump’s side as she authorised impeachment proceedings that charged the president with abusing power in office.

Donald Trump appears to snub Nancy Pelosi's attempted handshake before she smiles embarrassingly. Source: CNN

Footage of the awkward moment was shared to Twitter, with some dubbing Trump “rude and childish” and “totally classless”.

“He is absolutely childish,” one tweeted.

“Trump is so distasteful and disgusting,” another wrote.

Others said Trump didn’t realise she was attempting to shake his hand.

“She grabs the folder with her right hand then uses the same hand to shake while he is turning. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt here,” one said.

“I honestly hate to say it but it looks like he didn’t notice,” another claimed.

Ms Pelosi was then criticised at the conclusion of the address for standing behind Trump and tearing up the speech as everybody applauded.

“Piss poor,” one wrote on Twitter.

“Expert level of pettiness,” another said.

The White House also accused Ms Pelosi of disrespecting Trump's guests of honour by ripping up the speech.

Outrage over honour given to sick radio host

Conservative US radio host Rush Limbaugh has been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honour, during the State of the Union address.

Limbaugh, 69, a staunch supporter of President Donald Trump, announced Monday he is battling advanced lung cancer.

A bearded Limbaugh, seated next to first lady Melania Trump, looked stunned as the president announced the award.

He eventually stood and saluted Trump and offered a thumbs-up to Republicans in the House chamber.

Trump thanked Limbaugh for "decades of tireless devotion to our country" and said the award recognised the millions of people a day Limbaugh speaks to and inspires, as well as his charity work.

However many criticised the decision, with Limbaugh frequently accused of hate-filled speech, including bigotry and blatant racism, often targeted at former president Barack Obama.

America ‘stronger than ever before’

In his address Trump declared America was “stronger than ever before” as he delivered his speech on the eve of his likely impeachment acquittal.

The first president to run for re-election after being impeached, Trump received a sharply partisan welcome to the House of Representatives, with some Republicans chanting “four more years” while Democrats stood silently.

"America's enemies are on the run, America's fortunes are on the rise and America's future is blazing bright," Trump declared.

President Donald Trump delivers his State of the Union address, spruiking US economic growth. Source: AAP

"In just three short years, we have shattered the mentality of American decline and we have rejected the downsizing of America's destiny. We are moving forward at a pace that was unimaginable just a short time ago, and we are never going back!"

Republican members of Congress applauded nearly every sentence of Trump's speech, often leaping to their feet to cheer him.

The White House had promised an optimistic speech that would look past the impeachment trial that has consumed Washington in favour of a recitation of accomplishments and promises. 

Trump spent the first part of his speech highlighting the economy's strength, including low unemployment, stressing how it has helped blue-collar workers and the middle class, though the period of growth began under his predecessor, Barack Obama.

with AAP

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