It appears that President Obama may not meet personally with Texas student Ahmed Mohamed at tonight’s Astronomy Night at the White House, according to White House aides.
“I don’t believe that the president will have the opportunity to meet with meet one-on-one with Ahmed Mohamed,” Earnest confirmed during the White House press breifing. He explained to reporters that there would be “several hundred” students and teachers and scientists attending the event.
Mohamed still plans to join the group of children who attend the evening event, but he might not end up with a photograph with the president. Obama is expected to deliver remarks at the event, but will not likely remain for the duration of the event.
In September, Obama praised Ahmed after he was arrested at at Texas school, although it is unclear whether he saw pictures of the suspicious looking device placed in a pencil case before he posted a supportive message on Twitter.
“Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House?” Obama wrote.
Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House? We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It's what makes America great.
— President Obama (@POTUS44) September 16, 2015
It is now unclear, however, whether or not Mohamed will even bring the clock with him during his visit.
According to an interview with Yahoo News on Monday, Mohamed admitted that he did not bring the device with him to Washington D.C.
Earnest was hesitant to confirm whether or not Mohamed was advised about the “clock,” telling reporters he was unaware of communications with White House staff about what he could bring.
“I’m not aware of his plans to bring the clock,” Earnest said, but assured reporters that Mohamed would go through the normal security procedures.
“I’m confident that Ahmed, like everyone else who attends astronomy night will go through the security measures and screening measures that are necessary to ensure the safety of the president, the White House, and everybody else who’s participating in astronomy night,” Earnest said.
As of Monday, however, the Mohamad appeared excited that he would meet the president personally at the White House. “I really wanted to meet the president sometime in my life,” he said to Yahoo News. “I just didn’t know it would be this early.”
He also expressed his desire to talk to Obama about discrimination in America.
“I’m going to talk to him about, like, how hard it is growing up in America,” he said. “It was pretty hard living in America and going to school being Muslim.”