fb-pixel Skip to main content

Did President Trump stare directly at the solar eclipse without glasses?

Watch: The solar eclipse takes over Nashville
Watch: The solar eclipse takes over Nashville

Did President Trump throw caution to the wind and look at the solar eclipse without special protective glasses?

Shortly after Monday’s eclipse, photos of the president appearing to stare up at the sun from a White House balcony circulated online, with many mocking Trump for not donning protective eyewear first.

But videos showed that Trump wasn’t as cavalier as the still images made it seem: He looked up for a brief moment with his naked eyes beforehand in what appeared to be a joking manner before putting on his glasses. (One ABC journalist could be heard saying nervously over the video, “I hope somebody gave the president and first lady some approved glasses by NASA.”)


Someone in the crowd below could also be heard yelling advice: “Don’t look!”

Later, Trump — first flanked by his wife Melania and then joined by his son Barron — donned the protective glasses to stare at the eclipse for a few minutes before sporadically taking them off, and then merely glancing upwards for a second here and there before looking back down and putting the eyewear back on.

The incident was a reminder that, once again, a photo isn’t always what it seems.

Still, that didn’t stop photographers from capturing the moments when the president glanced upwards.

Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Andrew Harnik/AP
Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Christina Prignano and Brian White of the Globe staff contributed to this report.