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U.S. President Donald Trump takes a drink of water as he speaks about his recent trip to Asia in the Diplomatic Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., November 15, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts(reuters_tickers)
By Jeff Mason
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump went on television on Wednesday to recap his just-completed trip abroad, but it was his pause to refresh that ended up making news.
The day after returning from a 12-day journey to Asia, Trump delivered a more than 20-minute live address to tout his accomplishments on the trip.
Dry mouth got in the way.
Partway through his remarks, the president, who was speaking loudly to the assembled press, paused as cameras rolled to have a drink. Foiled at first when he could not locate any water on his podium, reporters pointed out there was a bottle on a table to his right. He reached for the bottle of water and sipped.
Trump's drink of water lit up social media, evoking comparisons with a televised address given by U.S. Senator Marco Rubio in 2013 during which he grabbed awkwardly for a water bottle.
Trump mocked Rubio during a campaign event last year for his water drinking on live television, calling him a "total choke artist."
Rubio, who ran against Trump for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, had some tongue-in-cheek advice for the president in return.
"Similar, but needs work on his form," Rubio wrote on Twitter on Wednesday. "Has to be done in one single motion & eyes should never leave the camera. But not bad for his 1st time."
Others on social media noted the irony of Trump's choice of an imported refreshment - Fiji Water - during a speech in which one of the main themes was a pledge to reduce U.S. trade deficits with foreign nations.
Trump took another sip from the water bottle before ending his speech. He left, slightly more hydrated, without taking questions from reporters.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the social media reaction to his water drinking.
(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Peter Cooney)