Obama's Former Photographer Perfectly Sums Up What Trump Did Wrong This Week in 5 Photos
Pete Souza is a legend. Not only is he one of the most talented photojournalists in the world, but he's also the person who documented all eight years of the Obama presidency as chief official White House photographer. But now that he's returned to the normal life of a citizen, he's taken up an altogether different role: the most spot-on Donald Trump critic on Instagram (see: respect for women, Trumpcare, hand-holding.)
There's nobody in the world better placed, then, to give us a reality check after a week like the one we've just had. From the Boy Scouts to a failed attempt at repealing Obama's signature healthcare mandate, here's a look back at the week that was — told through a presidency we're all missing pretty terribly at this point.
Monday, July 24: The Boy Scout Speech
The National Scout Jamboree, a traditionally nonpartisan celebration of all things Boy Scouts, was quickly turned into a political rally when Trump chose to use it as a forum for bragging about his popularity and airing his grievances. Souza took the opportunity to remind us of the softer side of the 44th president — by showing a charming interaction between Obama and a Cub Scout and contrasting the way each president chose to speak to the same group.
Tuesday, July 25: Trump Attacks Attorney General Jeff Sessions
It became clear this week that Trump and his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, aren't seeing eye to eye. Instead of addressing this behind closed doors, Trump took to Twitter to intimidate and threaten him. The barrage of attacks would later be described by Sessions as "hurtful" — and was widely seen as Trump trying to intimidate his own cabinet member into quitting so he did not have to take on the public scrutiny that would come with another firing. Souza's response? To show us the wholly civil relationship that Obama and his own attorney general had after not just a couple months — but more than a couple years.
Wednesday, July 26: Trump Tweets That He's Banning Transgender Troops From the Military
In a move that was widely and wholly condemned, early Wednesday morning, Trump once again took to Twitter to announce his thoughts to the world — only this time, it wasn't just what he felt about those around him and the media. Instead, he announced that he was banning transgender individuals from the military. Here, Souza reminded us of how a presidency used to work — with a president governing his people face to face, and not via social media.
Thursday, July 27: Military Leaders Say Transgender Individuals Can Still Serve — Regardless of Trump's Tweets
Unsurprisingly, nobody knew quite where Trump's information had come from when he announced that transgender people could no longer serve in the armed forces — and the military came out on Thursday to say that his "ban" was not going to happen (for now, anyway.) Souza's response was to remind us of all of the progress the LGBTQ+ community has made in the last few years and how the government should never be a force for discrimination.
Friday, July 28: Obamacare Repeal and Replace Is Dead — For Now
The most perfect picture for a most perfect day: on Friday, it became clear that the ACA would not be going away anytime soon and that repeated attempts by the Senate to come to an agreement on repeal and replace had failed. Here, we see Obama hard at work fighting to get millions of people the care and support that they deserve — by doing the research and negotiating one would expect from the President of the United States.