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Screenshot: MSNBC

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi laid into President Trump for his State of the Union address during her weekly press conference on Thursday, accusing him of using Congress as a "backdrop for a reality show" and calling out his "appalling" comments about pre-existing conditions.

Why it matters: The tension between Trump and Pelosi continues to grow in the wake of the president's address Tuesday, which culminated in the speaker ripping up a copy of the speech on national television.

  • At the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday, Trump took aim at Pelosi and suggested she used her faith as a false justification for impeachment.

What she's saying: Pelosi called Trump's address a "manifesto of mistruths," particularly with respect to his comments about health care.

"What happened instead was the president using the Congress of the United States as a backdrop for a reality show, presenting a state of mind that had no contact with reality whatsoever."
"It was quite appalling to hear the president say the 150 at least million families in America that are faced with preexisting conditions. A benefit that is afforded to them in the Affordable Care Act that he was protecting that benefit when, in fact, he has done everything to dismantle it."

Between the lines: Trump's claim that he will "always protect patients with pre-existing conditions" was misleading at best, Axios' Caitlin Owen notes.

  • Republicans' repeal and replace efforts in 2017 wouldn't have preserved the same level of protections the Affordable Care Act provides, nor would any of the plans they've put forward since.

Toward the end of her presser, Pelosi defended her decision to tear up Trump's speech, claiming it had "nothing to do with" him snubbing her handshake at the beginning.

  • "When I saw the compilation of falsehoods — when I heard like the first quarter or third, then I started to think there has to be something that clearly indicates to the American people that this is not the truth," she said.
  • "He has shredded the truth in his speech, he's shredding the Constitution in his conduct, I shredded his "state of his mind" address."

Go deeper

Biden will reverse Trump's attempt to lift COVID related travel restrictions

Photo: Tasos Katopodis via Getty

The incoming Biden administration will reverse President Trump's last-minute order to lift COVID-19 related travel restrictions, Jen Psaki, the incoming White House press secretary, tweeted.

Why it matters: President Trump ordered entry bans lifted for travelers from the U.K., Ireland, Brazil and much of Europe to go into effect Jan. 26, but the Biden administration will "strengthen public health measures around international travel in order to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19," Jen Psaki said. Biden will be inaugurated on Wednesday, Jan. 20 and Trump will no longer be president by the time the order is set to go into effect.

Dominion sends cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell

Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Dominion Voting Systems on Monday sent a cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell over his spread of misinformation related to the 2020 election.

Why it matters: Trump and several of his allies have pushed false conspiracy theories about the company, leading Dominion to take legal action. It's suing pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell for defamation and $1.3 billion in damages, and a Dominion employee has sued Trump himself, OANN and Newsmax.

Off the Rails

Episode 5: The secret CIA plan

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer, Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 5: Trump vs. Gina — The president becomes increasingly rash and devises a plan to tamper with the nation's intelligence command.

In his final weeks in office, after losing the election to Joe Biden, President Donald Trump embarked on a vengeful exit strategy that included a hasty and ill-thought-out plan to jam up CIA Director Gina Haspel by firing her top deputy and replacing him with a protege of Republican Congressman Devin Nunes.

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