The White House press secretary has once again triggered a furore on social media after suggesting that the House Minority Leader should "smile a lot more often". Sarah Sanders' remarks come after Nancy Pelosi seemed thoroughly unimpressed during President Donald Trump's first State of the Union address to Congress on Tuesday (31 January) evening.

As Trump discussed immigration, infrastructure and unemployment rates in the US, Pelosi appeared to be visibly annoyed listening from her seat in the House chamber — which social media users were quick to notice and soon become a viral meme.

During an interview with CNN's Chris Cuomo on "New Day" Wednesday morning, Sanders discussed some of the reactions to the 2018 State of the Union.

"The room last night was grossly divided, I've never seen Nancy Pelosi's face like that," Cuomo said and asked Sanders how Trump could better unify the country.

"I think doing exactly what he did last night," Sanders responded. "And I'm going to be a little bit in disagreement with you. I think Nancy Pelosi looks like that all the time. I think she should smile a lot more often. I think the country would be better for it.

"She seems to kind of embody the bitterness that belongs in the Democrat Party right now," she continued. "I think last night was a good step forward. Hopefully they can let go of some of that. And they have to make a big decision. They need to decide, Chris, do they love America more than they hate this president, and are they willing to put some of those differences aside, come together and do what's right for this country."

Sanders' suggestion did not go down well with social media users as many slammed the press secretary for her "sexist" and "demeaning" remarks and making one of the most widely loathed suggestions to a female lawmaker.

Pelosi's Deputy Chief of Staff Drew Hammill shot back: "I think the WH Press Secretary should lie less often. I think the country would be better for it."

"It's not part of a woman's job to smile to make others feel better," one Twitter user wrote. "Men are not expected to. Women should no longer have to grin and bear it either."

sarah huckabee sanders
Sarah Huckabee Sanders suggested Nancy Pelosi should smile more and is getting thoroughly roasted for it REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst