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Obama’s White House Photographer Is Throwing a Ton of Not-So-Subtle Shade at Trump on Instagram

It’s not what you think. (Heading back to the White House from the Blair House in 2011).

A photo posted by Pete Souza (@petesouza) on

Pete Souza was the official White House photographer under Barack Obama (as well as Ronald Reagan), and even if that name doesn’t ring a bell, you are definitely familiar with his work. He’s responsible for the vast majority of those pictures of Obama in office–from tense meetings to making funny faces at babies–that make your heart swell. Heck, without Souza, it’s quite possible we wouldn’t have any of those Biden/Obama BFF memes. The intimacy of his photographs is sometimes overwhelming, and for aspiring photographers, his Instagram is a must-follow, as he’s generous with advice and lessons from his long career.

In recent weeks, though, he’s also been giving out lessons in how to troll Donald Trump through art, making it a must-follow for everyone.

Souza has been posting some of his Obama-tenure photos to his Instagram, and many of them seem to be, let’s say, pointed. There are pictures of refugees–

Talking with a young refugee at a Dignity for Children Foundation classroom in 2015.

A photo posted by Pete Souza (@petesouza) on

And pictures of children who approach refugees with love and openness–

Remember Alex, the six-year-old boy who wrote President Obama a letter about the Syrian boy photographed in the ambulance. Alex visited the Oval Office with his family the day after the election. “Dear President Obama, Remember the boy who was picked up by the ambulance in Syria? Can you please go get him and bring him to [my home]? Park in the driveway or on the street and we will be waiting for you guys with flags, flowers, and balloons. We will give him a family and he will be our brother. Catherine, my little sister, will be collecting butterflies and fireflies for him. In my school, I have a friend from Syria, Omar, and I will introduce him to Omar. We can all play together. We can invite him to birthday parties and he will teach us another language. We can teach him English too, just like my friend Aoto from Japan. Please tell him that his brother will be Alex who is a very kind boy, just like him. Since he won’t bring toys and doesn’t have toys Catherine will share her big blue stripy white bunny. And I will share my bike and I will teach him how to ride it. I will teach him additions and subtractions in math. And he [can] smell Catherine’s lip gloss penguin which is green. She doesn’t let anyone touch it. Thank you very much! I can’t wait for you to come! Alex 6 years old “

A photo posted by Pete Souza (@petesouza) on

Which is the subtlest of the shade Souza’s throwing, though, given Trump’s very vocal position of the issue, the contrast here isn’t exactly buried.

Other messages are even more direct in pointing out the differences between these two administrations.

Meeting with top advisors. This is a full-frame picture. I guess you’d say I was trying to make a point.

A photo posted by Pete Souza (@petesouza) on

Remember when Republicans refused to let Obama do his job (the one Americans elected him to do) and appoint a Supreme Court Justice? Just saying.

Merrick Garland. Just saying.

A photo posted by Pete Souza (@petesouza) on

Is it a coincidence that Souza posted this picture of Obama with young students the same day Betsy DeVos was confirmed as Education Secretary? Maybe.

Visiting a pre-kindergarten classroom in 2013.

A photo posted by Pete Souza (@petesouza) on

And sure, maybe it’s a coincidence that he posted this picture of Barack Obama with Australia’s Prime Minister right after Trump’s embarrassing phone call with Turnbull.

But there’s no denying that this picture of a *ahem* well-lit meeting is just straight-up trolling Trump’s administration.

Those damn lights ;)

A photo posted by Pete Souza (@petesouza) on

Well played, Souza. Well played.

(H/T Uproxx , image via Evan El-Amin / Shutterstock)

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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.