Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

President Trump is at the Kennedy Space Center where astronauts are set to launch into space from American soil today for the first time since 2011.

JB Andrews
May 27, 2020

Marine One touched down at 12:45 pm. POTUS and FLOTUS boarded AF1 — at the top of the stairs, POTUS stopped and gave a little fist pump before disappearing into the plane. They were followed by Mark Meadows, Jared Kushner and Dan Scavino, all maskless like the first couple. We’re taxiing for takeoff at 12:55 pm.

Kennedy Space Center

May 27, 2020

AF1 landed at 2:52 pm after circling around the cape, allowing a view of the launchpad out the windows. POTUS came back to the press cabin and spoke off the record to the pool for about 10 minutes. 

During the flight down, the TVs on the plane were tuned to Fox News’s wall to wall coverage of the build up to the launch, showing among other things the astronauts being driven to the pad in a NASA branded Tesla and being strapped into the capsule. It also showed a chyron reporting a tornado warning.

Pool now holding for crew quarters tour. Don Trump Jr., Kimberly Guilfoyle and Eric and Lara Trump are here along with some of their kids, none wearing masks. Ivanka Trump is here too, wearing a mask as are her two kids, but Jared Kushner is not.

Addendum: During the flight, Kayleigh McEnany told the pool that during the meeting at the White House earlier, “Governor Cuomo said the president is doing a fantastic job.”

From the White House about the tarmac arrival:

THE PRESIDENT and FIRST LADY are met by:

Director Bob Cabana 

Director of the Kennedy Space Center

John Graves 

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Landing Facility

Jimmy Moffitt 

Space Florida

***

POTUS along with FLOTUS, VPOTUS and Mrs. Pence toured the Orion capsules in a large hangar. POTUS responded to a couple shouted questions but his answers were hard to hear.

On Minnesota: “Very, very sad event.” Asked it the officers should be charged he said they would “look at it.” 

Asked if he had a message for the astronauts: “God be with you. It’s a dangerous business, but they’re the best there is.”

***

Your pool had just arrived on the roof of a building to watch the launch when it was announced it was scrubbed. We’re not with POTUS at the moment. Don’t know if he is still going to do remarks. Don’t know if he’ll come back on Saturday, which will be the next time they try to launch. Will update as we learn.

***

Motorcade is now moving at 4:34 p.m. No word yet on whether POTUS still will speak or if he’ll return on Saturday when they will try to launch again.

Your pool had just arrived on the roof of a building to watch the launch when it was announced over a loudspeaker that it had been scrubbed.

This now feels moot, but between the Orion tour and rushing off to the roof for the non-launch, POTUS and VPOTUS joined Jim Bridenstine, Elon Musk, Bob Cabana and others in a conference room, sitting at a table with paper name plates and offered a few words. All that follow came from right BEFORE the scrub.

POTUS congratulated Musk and called him “a friend of mine for a long time.” He also praised Bridenstine, who he said had been with the project “from its infancy.” and added: “They had grass growing in the runways between the cracks. Now we have the best, the best of the best.” He also thanked VPOTUS. “He’s worked so hard. It’s been a labor of love.”

POTUS asked Bridenstine the status of the launch. “We are a go for launch right now,” Bridenstine said (optimistically as it turned out).

Bridenstine noted that it has been nine years since the space shuttles were retired.

“And the United States of America since then had no access to space with humans,” he said. He added: “And now we’ve got great support from the administration. NASA”s budgets in nominal dollars are as high as they’ve ever been. We’re bringing  America back as it relates to human spaceflight.” He added: “Today’s a big day for the nation.”

The White House Press Pool

Produced by members of the White House Correspondents Association (WHCA), these brief Pool Reports track American president. The White House Press Pool is composed of the members of the White House...