President Barack Obama is coming under criticism for offering a salute with a coffee cup in his raised hand.
#LatteSalute, as the gesture is being called on Twitter, was captured in a White House Instagram video recorded when he stepped off Marine One in New York City on his way to the United Nations:
A number of people fired off angry messages on Twitter about the #lattesalute:
Just saw the #lattesalute. Mr. President, put down the damn coffee cup.
— Angela (@Bear2theRight) September 24, 2014
When trying to lead a coalition, show the world you respect the military. This isn't just Tuesday, it's the morning after war. #LatteSalute
— Jessica Pry (@jpry01) September 24, 2014
— Brandon Day (@DayFinancial) September 24, 2014
Others responded with images showing that President George W. Bush once offered a less-than-graceful salute of his own:
— Col. Morris Davis (@ColMorrisDavis) September 24, 2014
The National Republican Congressional Committee said, "(T)his might be the most absurd video of President Obama we’ve ever seen," and is using the clip to solicit donations from the offended.
While U.S. presidents have in recent years returned salutes offered by members of the military, that wasn't always the case. According to The New York Times, the current tradition of a president saluting back appears to have started with President Ronald Reagan in 1981.
In addition, U.S. military regulations state that salutes are not required when "either the senior or the subordinate is wearing civilian clothes."