POTUS walked through an underground gallery that recounts the history of slavery and includes objects recovered from a slave ship that went down off Southern Africa. He was not visible at that point.
At 8.53am POTUS, wearing red tie, entered a high ceilinged gallery in a group of 10 that included daughter Ivanka, Ben Carson and Omarosa Manigault. Museum director Lonnie Bunch talked about a statue of Thomas Jefferson that stands above the title 'The paradox of liberty'.
"If you look behind Jefferson..." Bunch said, in remarks only partially audible to pool that explained what the curators wanted to do. Behind Jefferson is a high wall with each brick bearing the name of a slave whom Jefferson owned, as well as statues including African American author, astronomer and mathematician Benjamin Banneker, who wrote to Jefferson challenging the injustice of slavery. Carson nodded and smiled when Bunch mentioned Banneker and Washington, DC.
POTUS did not speak but listened intently then heard from another man as Bunch showed Ivanka glass cases containing objects from Jefferson's estate. She stooped for a closer look and Omarosa listened as Bunch said: "Actual shackles."
On the vast back concrete wall is 'All men are created equal...' in gold capital letters and the title 'The Founding of America'.
The group moved on and spent a couple of minutes at a glass case containing a bible belonging to Nat Turner, who led a slave revolt. They were too far away to hear. Pool was then escorted upstairs.