President Obama gets flack for saluting Marines while holding a cup

Mr Obama arrived in New York yesterday for a series of UN meetings, but was branded a "disrespectful" for his holding a cup while saluting

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The Independent US

President Barack Obama faced a storm in a teacup yesterday after he was seen saluting military personnel while simultaneously holding a polystyrene mug.

In a video posted by the White House to Instagram, the President can be seen disembarking his Marine One helicopter after touching down in New York yesterday.

As he gears up to attend the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly, he left the aircraft, caffeine in hand, and saluted the two waiting Marines at the bottom of the steps.

The move was branded “disrespectful” by people on social media and “absurd” by Republican lobby group NRCC.


One conservative blog even called him a “semi-retired President” who is in the “YOLO phase of his presidency”, while another described it as “degrading” and “offensive”.

It also led to a slew of criticism on Twitter, while others defended the leader by making reference to a salute made by George W Bush in 2001, which he made while holding his dog Barney.



While others attempted to joke about the 'faux pas' and others jumped to the President's defence:

Procedure – popularised by Reagan – has it that the President salutes the military personnel on duty who is also saluting him. However, it is not official protocol and some have argued that it in fact represents an increased “militarisation of the civilian presidency,” Reuters says.

Last year, the President retreated from his helicopter to shake hands and chat with a Marine whom he had momentarily forgotten to salute.

The UN is currently hosting a number of meetings and talks, including the Climate Summit, the threat from Isis and the spread of infectious virus Ebola in western Africa.