'Meltdown' Photo Becomes House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's Twitter Photo

CBS News
October 17, 2019 - 8:27 am

AP

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A briefing with congressional leaders at the White House on Wednesday ended with insults, a walkout — and a meme. It was the first face-to-face meeting between President Trump and top Democrats since the impeachment inquiry began, and things got heated between the president and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The House had just passed a bipartisan resolution condemning Mr. Trump's abrupt decision to pull troops from Syria, and lawmakers were supposed to be discussing the deteriorating military situation there with the president. But top Democrats left the meeting early. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said the president insulted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a "nasty diatribe." Afterwards, Pelosi said of the president, "We have to pray for his health because this was a very serious meltdown."

President Trump did not appreciate the remark, and flung the "meltdown" accusation right back at her. He shared an official White House photo on Twitter, showing Pelosi standing up and pointing a finger at him during the meeting earlier that day. "Nervous Nancy's unhinged meltdown!" he wrote.

The back-and-forth between the president and his Democratic foes did not end there. The image soon became Pelosi's cover photo on Twitter. Pelosi's Chief of Staff Drew Hamill clearly wanted others to notice the tongue-in-cheek gesture, so he tweeted an image of the speaker's cover photo, thanking Mr. Trump for the new image.

Hamill also retweeted presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar's reaction to the image. "Can a woman beat Donald Trump? Yes. @SpeakerPelosi does it every day," the senator from Minnesota wrote.

This is not the first time Pelosi's contentious relationship with Mr. Trump has received the meme treatment. Pelosi's exaggerated clapping at the last State of the Union went viral, with photos of her gesture shared thousands of times.

Mr. Trump refers to Senator Schumer and House Speaker Pelosi as "Chuck and Nancy," and has tweeted about them several times before. "Just left a meeting with Chuck and Nancy, a total waste of time," the president tweeted during the government shutdown in January. 

The president's references to "Chuck and Nancy" also prompted a sketch during "Saturday Night Live's" Weekend Update, with Kate McKinnon playing Pelosi and Alex Moffat as Schumer, gloating about their border wall negotiations with the president.