President Obama heralded the “incredible bonds and the incredible gifts that France gave to the United States” during a visit Monday afternoon with French President Francois Hollande to Monticello, the estate of former President Thomas Jefferson.
“I thought this was an appropriate way to start a state visit, because what it signifies is the incredible history between the United States and France,” Obama said.
The pair toured the mansion, examining some of the technologies Jefferson imported to help him read and write more effectively. The pair examined the former president’s basement — where meals were prepared to French standards — and admired the view of Charlottesville from the house’s portico.
During the tour, Obama joked that he was excited to “break the protocol” as he walked onto a nearby terrace to admire the view.
“That’s the good thing as a president, I can do whatever I want,” he joked.