Obama Photographer’s Instagram Knocks Donald Trump

Pete Sousa is letting his photography do the talking.

Pete Souza, President Obama. Courtesy of Pete Souza via Instagram.

Over Barack Obama’s eight years as president, official White House photographer Pete Souza took approximately 2 million photos of the commander-in-chief. Now, he’s sharing some of those images on his new personal Instagram—with photos that seem to take a shot at Obama’s successor, Donald Trump.

The photographer, who served in the same capacity for Ronald Reagan, launched the @petesouza account on January 21, the first full day of the Trump presidency, and already has over 800,000 followers.

The internet has picked up on a pattern in Souza’s posts, which seem to compare Trump’s controversial policies with those of Obama.


On January 27, Trump signed a controversial executive order targeted at refugees and seven Muslim-majority countries. Two days later, Obama was on Souza’s Instagram bonding with a young Muslim refugee in Kuala Lumpur.

When the New York Times alleged that Trump staffers were having difficulty locating White House light switches, Souza posted a shot of an especially well-light meeting with the caption “Those damn lights ;)”.


Another photo, of Obama throwing back tequila with Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto, seems to critique Trump’s allegedly strained relationship with the neighboring leader.

Peña Nieto cancelled a planned meeting with Trump over the latter’s continued insistence that Mexico pay for a border wall between the two countries. In a later phone conversation, the former reality tv star told his Mexican counterpoint “You have a bunch of bad hombres down there,” according to a leaked transcript of the call. “I think your military is scared. Our military isn’t, so I just might send them down to take care of it.”



On his new platform, Souza has also taken a stand for gender parity, cropping a photo of Obama and three female advisors to highlight the contrast between his shoes and their high heels.

“I guess you’d say I was trying to make a point,” Souza wrote. Trump’s high-level appointees to date have predominantly been white men.

Souza was also pointed in response to Trump’s nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court on February 1, posting a photo of Obama with Merrick Garland. Republicans refused to consider Garland as a potential justice for much of 2016.

“Just saying,” wrote Souza in his Instagram caption.


Even Trump’s taste in interior design has come under fire: after the former reality star selected gold curtains for the Oval Office—no surprise given his well-documented opulence—Souza shared a photo of Obama in the room with the old window dressings. It was captioned, “I like these drapes better than the new ones. Don’t you think?”

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