Trump Hugs Nationals Player from Behind in Viral Titanic-Like Moment During Team's White House Visit
"'President Donald Trump then reached around to feel Kurt Suzuki's nipples.' This would have seemed such an odd thing to write in 2010," one user tweeted
It was a Titanic-like moment Twitter could not resist.
President Donald Trump on Monday hugged Washington Nationals catcher Kurt Suzuki from behind during the team’s White House visit — for a moment inadvertently recreating Leonardo DiCaprio‘s famous pose with Kate Winslet in the 1997 film.
“King of the world,” the Los Angeles Times tweeted.
Trump’s embrace was prompted when Suzuki, there celebrating the Nationals’ World Series win with most of his teammates, was invited to address the crowd. He donned a “Make America Great Again” hat as he walked up to the microphone, to Trump’s visible delight (and dismay from some online).
“I love him! Awww,” the president, 73, said as he reached from behind Suzuki to embrace Suzuki across the chest before shaking his shoulders fondly.
Suzuki, speaking to the crowd of thousands on the White House South Lawn, said simply, “I love you all.”
“What a job he did. I didn’t know that was going to happen,” Trump said afterward, apparently referring to Suzuki’s hat choice.
Many on Twitter were quick to note the strange optics of the moment — some comparing it sarcastically to fondling, an echo of Trump’s previous comments about groping women; while others noted how unusual it was given that attendees had twice loudly booed the president during the World Series last week and multiple Nationals players opted to skip Monday’s visit.
“‘President Donald Trump then reached around to feel Kurt Suzuki’s nipples.’ This would have seemed such an odd thing to write in 2010,” sportswriter Dan Szymborski tweeted.
The parody Twitter account DPRK News Service wrote, “Donald Trump gropes breasts of Kurt Suzuki, demonstrating lack of sexism.”
Conservative writer Seth Mandel tweeted, “Trump chest-fondling Kurt Suzuki in a MAGA hat behind a podium with the presidential seal is an amazing artifact that future societies will one day unearth and doubt its authenticity.”
According to reporters at Monday’s event, about 5,300 people were in attendance.
“We’re honored to be here in the long tradition of honoring champions in the White House,” the Nationals’ general manager, Mike Rizzo, said.
Trump, who could not resist referring back to himself, said, “America fell in love with the Nats baseball … it’s all they wanted to talk about — that and impeachment. I like Nats baseball much more.”
Suzuki’s teammate Ryan Zimmerman, a first baseman, presented Trump with a Nationals jersey with the number “45” — for 45th president.
“We’d … like to thank you for keeping everyone here safe in our country and continuing to make America the greatest country to live in the world,” said Zimmerman, 35.
Sean Doolittle, a Nationals pitcher, was the first player to confirm he would not be attending Monday’s White House event, telling The Washington Post: “At the end of the day, as much as I wanted to be there with my teammates and share that experience with my teammates, I can’t do it. I just can’t do it.”
Other players who declined to attend on Monday included Javy Guerra, Anthony Rendon, Victor Robles, Joe Ross, Michael A. Taylor and Wander Suero, according to the Post.
“There’s a lot of things, policies that I disagree with, but at the end of the day, it has more to do with the divisive rhetoric and the enabling of conspiracy theories and widening the divide in this country,” Doolittle, 33, told the paper. “My wife and I stand for inclusion and acceptance, and we’ve done work with refugees, people that come from, you know, the ‘s—hole countries.’ ”
“I have a brother-in-law who has autism, and [Trump] is a guy that mocked a disabled reporter,” Doolittle said. “How would I explain that to him that I hung out with somebody who mocked the way that he talked or the way that he moves his hands? I can’t get past that stuff.”