President Donald Trump abandoned his protective press pool after the Christmas lighting ceremony at the White House and sped away in his motorcade, according to social media reports.
Anita Kumar, the White House correspondent for McClatchy, tweeted about being left behind in the protective pool and how unprecedented and bizarre it is.
I am the White House print pooler tonight. That means I am supposed to be with @POTUS. Instead, I and the rest of t… https://t.co/yR2OfavBll— Anita Kumar (@Anita Kumar)1543449127.0
"I am the White House print pooler tonight. That means I am supposed to be with [President Donald Trump]," she tweeted. "Instead, I and the rest of the pool, were left at an event while POTUS returned to the White House."
"We have been told POTUS is back at the White House but technically we don't know that because we were not with him and did not seem him," she added.
"I have been a print pooler for six years during the Obama and Trump administrations," she explained. "I have never been part of a protective pool that was left behind until today."
I have been a print pooler for six years during the Obama and Trump administrations. I have never been part of a pr… https://t.co/4jQddnCZbe— Anita Kumar (@Anita Kumar)1543451253.0
The 96th annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony apparently went off without a hitch, but the president's motorcade left hastily afterward. The White House provided no details as to why the president was whisked away to the White House.
Trump led the audience assembled in a countdown until first lady Melania Trump flipped the switch to turn on the lights on the Christmas tree.
Steve Herman, the White House bureau chief for The Voice of America, explained that the White House works with the Secret Service in order to provide the protective pool an opportunity to cover the president from the motorcade.
"Poolers serve as the eyes and ears for the rest of the media," Herman explained. "Usually it goes without a hitch, but something went amiss this evening and we've had no explanation."
Protective press pool was left behind at Ellipse as @POTUS motorcade returned to @WhiteHouse. https://t.co/mbeQ8ZqeS1— Steve Herman (@Steve Herman)1543448552.0
Herman added that it is only a three minute drive back to the White House, and that Trump abandoning the pool, which is comprised of 13 members, is unprecedented so far during his administration. Former President Barack Obama once abandoned his protective pool in 2012 on a golf outing.
Here's video of the Christmas tree lighting ceremony: