Actor Tom Hanks has the White House story to top all other White House stories.
In an interview on Phoebe Robinson’s WNYC podcast, “Sooo Many White Guys,” posted Thursday, Hanks recalled the story from a 2004 visit to the White House for the dedication of the World War II Memorial. During the visit, Hanks — along with his wife, Rita Wilson, and two of their sons — ran into former President George W. Bush, who was in his workout clothes and on the way to the gym.
According to the actor, who was in the White House for a tour, he and his sons were ushered into a side room because the president was coming through. However, when that happened, Wilson was in the restroom.
Hanks heard his wife encounter Bush in the hall: “Well, hello, Mr. President.”
“Well, hi. Who are you?” Bush replied.
“I’m Rita Hanks, Tom’s wife,” Wilson said.
“Well, of course. How are you?" the president asked.
Moments later, Hanks and his sons were brought back out, and Bush offered to host an impromptu tour of the White House, including the Rose Garden.
“We’re walking toward the Rose Garden to go into the Oval Office,” the Hollywood star recalled. “I swear to God, there was a dead blackbird laying in the grass. And we said, ‘Oh my gosh, look at that.’ ”
“And he said, ‘Ah, that's a shame,’ ” Tom Hanks continued. “And he picks up the bird with his bare hands, and he says, ‘Yeah, we get these all the time at the ranch.’ And he threw the blackbird into the bushes to get it out of sight. He says, ‘Oh, the crew’ll pick that up.’ ”
Hanks went on to tell Robinson that his family has “been dining out on that story for about a thousand years.”
Hanks made headlines just days after the 2016 presidential election, when he said during a November appearance at New York’s Museum of Modern Art that he hopes then-President-elect Donald Trump does so well that he “vote[s] for his re-election.”
“This is the United States of America. We’ll go on. There’s great like-minded people out there who are Americans first and Republicans or Democrats second,” he said at the time. “I hope the president-elect does such a great job that I vote for his re-election in four years.”
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