Donald Trump’s persona as a man who doesn’t like to be told what to do feeds into the spread of this image of him staring directly at the eclipse without protective glasses.
I’ve seen it portrayed as if an aide warned Trump not to do it, and then he immediately did it anyway, on impulse. Naturally I investigated.
Recalling the still photo taken of Trump appearing to ignore his own wife while the Obamas embraced affectionately (a still that does not accurately represent the incident, since immediately after that still was taken Trump went to his wife), I investigated.
Plenty of other images show him behaving sensibly. This video of Trump watching the solar eclipse shows he glanced up only briefly, after he had taken a long look through the glasses.
There are plenty of legitimate reasons to criticize the president. This is a pretty dim, obscure, shadowy reason.