Donald Trump stares at the sky, squinting, as Melania stands next to him wearing dark sunglasses.

Upcoming Solar Eclipse Takes Us Back To the Funniest Moment of Trump’s Entire Presidency

This Saturday, October 14, an annular solar eclipse will be visible from much of the southwestern United States and Central America. This is an exciting event for space nerds, especially with a total eclipse following shortly on its heels in April 2024. (An annular eclipse is not quite total, as the moon’s position leaves a visible “ring of fire,” which is extremely cool in its own right.)

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The event also stirs up memories of what might be the single funniest of Donald Trump’s presidency. (Or at least the funniest moment involving him personally, just because I don’t think anything will ever top Rudy Giuliani’s “Four Seasons Total Landscaping” press conference.)

Back in August 2017, Trump had only been in office for about seven months, when he, Melania Trump, and their son Barron gathered on the White House balcony for a photo op during a solar eclipse. And Trump took the opportunity to do what you’re absolutely not supposed to do during an eclipse—or ever—and took off his protective glasses to look directly into the sun. Repeatedly.

As we wrote at the time:

Displaying the intelligence and wisdom of a lost toddler, Donald Trump directly looked up at the solar eclipse without the aid of solar eclipse glasses or goggles. As well, […] he did this despite someone in a crowd of aides literally yelling at him, telling him not to look.

Here’s a video to really take you back:

To be clear, DO NOT DO THIS! Looking into the sun—even during an eclipse, even if you’re squinting, as Trump apparently thought was sufficient—can cause permanent, irrevocable damage to your retinas. It can literally cause blindness.

This is the man that the majority of the American people electoral college wanted leading the country. Trump’s presidency was marked by a huge amount of bigotry, hate, dangerous ineptitude, and violence. But at least we had this one moment of pure hilarity when the only person he posed a danger to was himself.

This Saturday, if you’re in a spot where the eclipse will be visible, do not be like Donald Trump. There’s still time to buy protective eyewear or make your own eclipse viewer.

(featured image: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.