Nancy Pelosi Schools Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom on Her Iconic SOTU Clap
Our new favorite meme got a remix.
Clapping hilarity continues!
The applause Nancy Pelosi gave President Donald Trump during his State of the Union address on Tuesday has become one of the internet’s most beloved memes. And though the Speaker of the House, 78, insists her pursed-lipped gesture wasn’t anything but sincere, she appears to have a good sense of humor about the attention — even recreating the moment alongside Katy Perry, 34, and Orlando Bloom, 42, on Friday.
All three were together at the Los Angeles Convention Center, where Dolly Parton, 73, was being honored with MusiCares’ person of the year title.
They were photographed there posing alongside Pelosi’s husband Paul, 78, and smiling as they mimicked Pelosi’s clap with laughs and smiles.
Perry was a notable supporter of Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign, and in 2017 told The New York Times that Trump’s White House win caused her perspective on her sexuality to shift.
Pelosi gave reporters the inside scoop on her viral moment on Wednesday.
Just before she joined a standing ovation for the president, 72, on Tuesday night, he said: “We must reject the politics of revenge, resistance and retribution and embrace the boundless potential of cooperation, compromise and the common good.”
It was those words that inspired Pelosi.
“It wasn’t sarcastic,” she told reporters, pointing to the language that brought her to her feet — and Trump’s own history of inflammatory rhetoric and personal attacks on his opponents.
“Look at what I was applauding,” Pelosi said. “I wanted him to know that it was very welcomed.”
Twitter ran rampant with responses to the moment, with many insisting that not only did Pelosi make a statement with her clap but that Trump seemed not to notice.
While others called the move “disrespectful,” slamming Pelosi for her “weird” behavior and accused her of not doing “anything meaningful in her entire career,” supporters virtually applauded the Democratic politician for what they construed to be a subtle jab.
Pelosi’s daughter Christine, 52, joined in as well, sharing a photo of the clap on Twitter with the caption, “oh yes that clap took me back to the teen years. She knows. And she knows that you know. And frankly she’s disappointed that you thought this would work. But here’s a clap.”
New York Times photographer Doug Mills, who was shooting for the congressional press pool just two days after shooting the Super Bowl, was the only news photographer on the House floor Tuesday night and captured Pelosi during her viral clap.
“I had a unique angle and was able to put Speaker Pelosi right over the president’s shoulder,” he told PEOPLE.
“It was a clap that was gestured right toward him [Trump],” Mills recalled. “And he looked back to get her reaction. It’s not a moment you usually see in the middle of a State of the Union address. There’s not usually a lot of interaction between the president and the speaker.”
Mills said he had been watching both Trump and Pelosi closely.
“Knowing the dynamics between the two of them, I wanted to keep my eye on both of them — starting from the time he walked up and handed her his speech,” he said. “I didn’t know what kind of handshake that would be. It was cordial, but not overly friendly. … I’d been watching when she and Mike Pence were talking before the speech. It was awkward. So I knew there would be something between her and the president.”
“The tension between the two of them right now is pretty high,” Mills continued. “There’s a lot of poker and gamesmanship going on that started in the Oval Office when they got in that shutdown argument in front of the White House press pool. There’s no love lost there and you can tell. That’s part of the game — it’s politics. I mean, I covered the Super Bowl on Sunday and then this. Two big battles and the games are part of the battle.”
Though he was aware of the tension between the two, Mills says he saw Pelosi’s clap as completely genuine.
“A lot of people say it’s the ‘f— you’ clap, but I didn’t feel that as it happened,” he explained. “I saw it as her responding to the call for common ground and saying to him, ‘Okay, this is on you. It starts with you. I’m clapping to you. You’re saying it, but you’re also the one who has to follow through.’ “
“She was making sure he saw her applauding,” Mills said. “She was saying, ‘You set the tone. Now let’s follow through and let’s do this.’ “
He added, “Maybe this is a new step forward. We’ll see.”