Nancy Pelosi and Donald Trump during the State of the Union speech on Feb. 5, 2019. (Doug Mills/The New York Times)
Donald Trump’s February 5 State of the Union address, which Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi originally cancelled due to “security concerns,” came three months after Democrats won back a majority in Congress. During those months, tensions between Trump and Pelosi amplified. At a December 11 Oval Office meeting, Trump, Pelosi, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer argued in front of television cameras over immigration, government funding, and November’s election results. Trump said he would be “proud” to shut down parts of the government in his fight for a border wall. On January 9, weeks into what would become the longest shutdown in US history, Trump stormed out of a closed meeting with congressional leaders when Pelosi again refused to fund the wall.
So when New York Times White House photographer Doug Mills was appointed pool photographer for the State of the Union—a designation that meant he would be the only photographer allowed on the House floor during the event—he planned to follow both Trump and Pelosi with care.
By the time the State of the Union was over, a photo Mills captured early on in the address had already circled the globe, a viral phenomenon that encapsulated the raw conflict between two very public adversaries.
Mills spoke with CJR by phone from outside the White House’s West Wing about that night and the responsibility that comes with photographing Trump’s
Read more here: https://www.cjr.org/covering_trump/viral-nancy-pelosi-photo-clap.php