As the entire world watches in avid anticipation for the event of a century as the moon exhibits a full eclipse of the sun, President Trump, and the First Lady, joined by their family and members of the administration, watch the spectacle from the White House terrace.
Politicians and citizens alike rushed to watch the phenomena, with the last coast-to-coast full solar eclipse being in 1979. The next annual solar eclipse will be on October 14, 2023, but will not be visible to all of the continental U.S.
POTUS and FLOTUS were joined briefly by their son Barron, sporting a simple white polo tee, wearing the protective glasses to shield eyes from the harmful rays. Ivanka Trump also stepped out to the terrace, wearing a pink and black ribbed dress – also wearing the sunglasses.
They were joined by the Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who was “eagerly viewing the natural phenomenon” according to the pool report. They were later joined by members of the Executive Branch, with the new White House Communications Director Hope Hicks among the crowd.
President Trump very briefly wore his glasses, pulling them out of his pocket at points but refraining from wearing them for a prolonged period of time. He and FLOTUS exchanged words on occasion, and President Trump also saluted the audience, waving a few times and smiling at the crowds.
At one point, as the President pointed to the sky, one of the White House aides situated below the Blue Room Balcony shouted “don’t look” to the President, as he was not wearing his protective glasses.
At the conclusion of the spectacle, the viewing party heading back into the White House, led by the President, the First Lady, and Barron Trump. The remaining viewers followed them shortly.
Despite the apolitical nature of this appearance, commentary from citizens was still mainly contingent on criticisms of POTUS, with people mocking his reluctance to wear the protective glasses as a reflection of his stubborn nature.
The eclipse viewing, along with most of the other events of the day were closed press, but the Presidential Address to the Nation, scheduled for 9 PM will be open press.