President Trump on Friday announced two new executive orders aimed at tackling long-standing concerns around trade enforcement, but he left the room before actually signing the orders.
White House video showed Trump entering the Oval Office to announce the orders, but leaving before actually signing any documents.
Vice President Pence appeared to notice the mistake, turning back to grab materials off the president’s desk and leaving the room with them.
— Vic Berger IV (@VicBergerIV) March 31, 2017
VP Pence collected the Executive Orders from the Resolute Desk and brought them to Pres Trump to sign in another room. pic.twitter.com/89BgpElbew
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) March 31, 2017
Trump reportedly left the room after a reporter asked him about his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who is seeking immunity before testifying before congressional committees about Russia’s meddling in the presidential election.
after @MajorCBS asks about Flynn, Trump leaves signing ceremony without signing executive orders. Pence went and picked it up from desk
— Justin Sink (@justinsink) March 31, 2017
The president typically sits inside the Oval Office to sign orders while the press takes photos.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and National Trade Council Director Peter Navarro were also present at the Friday announcement.
The officials said that the Trump administration will produce a sweeping report on the cause of U.S. trade deficits as well as plans to improve trade enforcement and the collection of billions in import taxes as part of the effort to bolster U.S. manufacturing.
Updated at 6:05 p.m.