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President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump took in Monday’s total solar eclipse from the White House’s Truman Balcony, wearing protective “eclipse glasses.” Wearing them most of the time, anyway.
At one point, Trump appeared to look up at the sun with the glasses off, something experts have been warning for weeks can cause severe eye damage.
President Trump, First Lady Melania Trump wear their eclipse glasses to safely watch the solar eclipse as it crosses over Washington, D.C. pic.twitter.com/rhssU8UyW0— ABC News (@ABC) August 21, 2017
“Don’t look,” an aide shouted from below as Trump raised his eyes toward the sun, according to Wall Street Journal reporter Ted Mann:
As he did this, someone in a crowd of aides below shouted "Don't look." pic.twitter.com/dtfSLEzcAZ— Ted Mann (@TMannWSJ) August 21, 2017
Other sources confirmed that the president attempted to view the eclipse with his naked eyes:
in four acts pic.twitter.com/aOHAZ65Mxs— Amanda Wills (@AmandaWills) August 21, 2017
No one could have predicted that the leader of the free world would do something so uncharacteristically foolish. Especially twice, as this video from NBC shows. (He did it once without his son Barron next to him, as the Ted Mann tweet showed, and another time with Barron in the frame, seen below.)
Oh, wait, someone did predict it.
id say theres about a 50% chance this happens later pic.twitter.com/dQ1zqZWxqv— leon (@leyawn) August 21, 2017
Guy with Twitter jokes Leon Chang put the chances of Trump staring at the eclipse, maybe even going blind in the process, at 50 percent this morning. When he heard that the president had, in fact, peered at the sun without eye protection, he responded, “fucking lmao.”
fucking lmao https://t.co/aIhSBhP0Az— leon (@leyawn) August 21, 2017
Fucking lmao indeed. But if there’s one thing we’ve learned from the Trump presidency, it’s that Donald does what he wants, and everyone else—even his own advisers—just has to deal with it.
"DEAL WI...." pic.twitter.com/rFGR9seoBR— darth:™ (@darth) August 21, 2017
Jay Hathaway is a former senior writer who specialized in internet memes and weird online culture. He previously served as the Daily Dot’s news editor, was a staff writer at Gawker, and edited the classic websites Urlesque and Download Squad. His work has also appeared on nymag.com, suicidegirls.com, and the Morning News.