Trump Handshake Rebuff House Speaker Pelosi ripping up her copy of Trump’s State Of the Union

Much has been said of House Speaker Pelosi ripping up her copy of Trump’s State Of the Union Address but not everyone saw this moment where Pelosi put out her hand at the beginning of the State of the Union as she takes the address he offers with her left hand and Trump who just handed it to her and should have initiated the shake at that time see her hand out and the moment later, not photographed where he rebuffed her outward stretched hand. This is Iconic because of the controversy including those who said he didn’t see her hand, when clearly in this photo he sees it. What’s also interesting are the facial expressions and other cues Pelosi is leaning forward actually giving Trump a soft smile and her full eye contact as she extends her hand with the fingers tightly and tensely held together, one finger even bent and folded over the others and hand-stretched out and downward. She is showing she wants to fully engage with Trump and shake hands, but it’s not a passive shake offer, nor are the fingers curved in friendship. Trump is looking right at her outstretched hand and leaves his arm down at his side and fingers curved down and towards himself. You see his hand in the curved position your hand typically takes to shake hands and he even has the hand at the ready at the waist position. But his shoulder points to her in slight “cold shoulder” position instead. Notice his downward turned “bad taste in my mouth” and chin and jaw withdraw facial expression.
Patti Wood, MA - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at