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President Trump Did Not Stay to Watch Kendrick Lamar at the College Football Championship

Last week, after it was announced that President Trump would be attending the national college football championship game between the University of Alabama and University of Georgia, we at Spin were curious about the prospect of the president watching the game’s inaugural halftime performer, Kendrick Lamar. Lamar is no fan of Trump—he once intimated that the president lacked “morals, dignity, principles, common sense”—and with the game broadcast nationally on ESPN, the public could have feasibly been treated to the spectacle of Lamar blasting Trump from the stage, or at the very least, a camera trained on Trump as he awkwardly nodded along to hip hop.

Unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be. According to multiple reports, Trump left the stadium at halftime and didn’t see any of Lamar’s performance (which was actually held across the street from Mercedes-Benz Stadium at Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park and broadcast onto the venue’s jumbotrons). Lamar didn’t explicitly call out the president either, but did perform the DAMN. track “Humble,” which included a shout out to Trump’s least favorite guy on the planet, former President Barack Obama.

It’s impossible to say whether Trump left at halftime to avoid any possible embarrassment that may have occurred had Lamar told the SEC audience how he really felt, or if the president was just bored and decided he’d had enough of what was very a likely a just photo-op. (It wouldn’t be the first time it happened with this administration.) Nevertheless, we were still treated to plenty of enjoyable exhibitions that made up for the lack of any Trump/Lamar prickliness. Here, for example, is the president’s motorcade getting booed as he arrived at the stadium before the game:

Here is the president receiving what sounds like a mixture of cheers and boos as he walks onto the field to participate in the national anthem:

And here is the president trying to mouth along to (some) of the words of the National Anthem as it is performed by the Zac Brown Band:

As president, Trump is of course a busy man, so he can’t be faulted too much for leaving before the game is over. He’s got to get back to running the country! A huge football fan with no shortage of opinions on how the game is currently being “ruined,” the president surely finished watching the game from Air Force One. He wouldn’t have traveled all that way on the taxpayer’s dime just to score some cheap political points with his base by standing on the field for the National Anthem.