With scandal after scandal involving President Donald Trump’s administration, it’s impossible not to reflect on the days of Barack Obama’s scandal-free presidency. The stark contrast between the two presidents’ time in office becomes clearer by the day, and Obama’s White House photographer has the photos to prove it.
Pete Souza, the man behind the camera during Obama’s time in office, has had a lot to say since Trump’s inauguration. However, he generally lets his photos speak for themselves — often throwing shade at the current president. Here’s how he’s used his photos to comment on the Trump presidency.
Souza took more than 2 million photos of Obama
Souza was the photographer for all eight years of Obama’s presidency, providing him the opportunity to take more than 2 million photos. According to CTV News, Souza spent the most amount of time with the former president compared to anyone else … with the exception of Obama’s own family.
The photographer sat down with CTV News’ Daniele Hamamdjian. He explained that Obama allowed him “incredible access,” which took a certain amount of trust from the president. Souza took pictures of “the big moments and the small moments,” so we can still reflect on Obama’s presidency as a whole.
Next: The photos are used to respond to the Trump administration.
He uses his photos to respond to the Trump administration
While Souza posts photos of Obama regularly on his Instagram, he often will use those photos to comment on the Trump administration. As noted by CTV News, “Souza has posted specially selected photos of Obama on his Instagram account.”
The purpose is “to highlight the stark differences between the former U.S. president and the current one.”
Next: He threw shade at Trump for this specific reason.
He threw shade at Trump for his global warming tweet
On Dec. 28, 2017, Trump tweeted about how the cold weather obviously proved that global warming is a hoax. He wrote, “In the East, it could be the COLDEST New Year’s Eve on record. Perhaps we could use a little bit of that good old Global Warming that our Country, but not other countries, was going to pay TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS to protect against. Bundle up!”
Souza didn’t say much in his response on Instagram, but shade was definitely thrown. Two days after Trump’s global warming tweet, he posted a photo of Obama throwing a snowball at the White House. He captioned the photo, “Snowball fight…definitely not about global warming.”
Next: He throws even more shade when comparing Obama to Trump.
He reminded his followers of Obama’s respect for women
Trump may claim to have “tremendous respect for women,” but pretty much every comment he’s ever made about women proves otherwise. In June 2017, he made no exception in his tweets about MSNBC’s Morning Joe co-host, Mika Brzezinski.
He wrote, “I heard poorly rated @Morning_Joe speaks badly of me (don’t watch anymore). Then how come low I.Q. Crazy Mika, along with Psycho Joe, came to Mar-a-Lago 3 nights in a row around New Year’s Eve, and insisted on joining me. She was bleeding badly from a face-lift. I said no!”
In stark contrast, Souza responded by posting a series of photos on Instagram proving how much Obama truly respects women. With each photo, he posted the caption “Respect for women,” and described each scenario in which the president was “strategizing and interacting with female colleagues, constituents, and troops.”
Next: The Trump typo seen around the world warrants a response.
He commented on that ‘covfefe’ tweet
Trump confused the Twitter world when he posted a tweet involving what was seemingly a major typo. He wrote, “Despite the constant negative press covfefe” — and that was it. Twitter users poked fun while trying to decipher the meaning of the tweet and wondered how long it would stay on the internet.
Souza jumped on the train of those commenting on the tweet, captioning an Instagram post with “C-O-V-F…..” as Obama is focused while writing something down in the photo.
According to Trump’s former press secretary, Sean Spicer, “The president and a small group of people know exactly what he meant.” Maybe he was just covering up the fact that Trump made a typo, but Hillary Clinton had a different theory.
While speaking to a crowd in California, Clinton revealed that she “thought it was a hidden message to the Russians.” Whatever the case, “covfefe” will probably end up on Trump’s gravestone.
Next: A lovable picture everybody with a heart can enjoy
He remembers the ‘better days’
Souza may not have made any direct comparisons in this post, but he generally reflected on “better days” when Obama was in office. This photo captures the former president lovingly playing with a baby, which just isn’t something we can picture Trump doing.
Next: We wonder if Trump’s photographer will also do this after Trump’s presidency.
He released a book that chronicles Obama’s presidency
Considering Souza described his job as to “photographically document the presidency for history,” it makes sense that he’d release his own book that chronicles Obama’s eight years as president. Obama: An Intimate Portrait was published in 2017, and it includes more than 300 of Souza’s photographs to depict the most important and intimate moments of Obama’s presidency.
Next: This is the main point of taking so many photos of the president.
He hopes his photos will help future generations get to know Obama
The range of moments Souza has captured of Obama shed a light on more than just his presidency. The photographer told CTV, “I think for generations to come, people will be able to look at my pictures and hopefully get a good sense of his presidency, but also what he was like as a person.”
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