A Secret Service agent in charge of protecting the POTUS relieved himself in full view of Barack Obama and his hundreds of supporters, who were just yards away.
The Secret Service employee, who was standing to the side of the stage where Barack Obama was addressing his Cincinnati fans, was snapped seemingly mid-flow by a photographer from Politico.
Unsurprisingly, as soon as the photograph was posted to Twitter it became a sensation. Some commentators cheekily suggested that the man was especially foolish for peeing uphill.
The Secret Service confirmed that the man was their employee and swiftly added that he was not urinating.
The agency claimed that their employee was simply following protocol and was facing away from the President to look out for any threats that may be headed his way.
Secret Service spokesman Edwin Donovan told Politico: “There is no accuracy to the reporting associated with this photo thus far.”
Judging from the photo at the centre of the storm, the agent could have convincingly claimed that he was texting or playing a game of Angry Birds when the incriminating picture was taken.
The embarrassing incident happened while Barack Obama continued his campaign in the swing state of Ohio, where he announced a new trade enforcement action against China.
The promise to move to stop Chinese subsidies of its auto industry came four days after Romney launched an advertising campaign accusing the president of allowing American manufacturing jobs to be lost to the Asian power.
The issue hits home among working class voters in manufacturing swing states such as Ohio, where The White House says more than 850,000 jobs in the state are related to the auto industry.
Barack Obama told thousands gathered at a pavilion in Cincinnati’s leafy Eden Park that Romney made money from companies that outsourced jobs to China while running the private equity firm Bain Capital. The crowd jeered. Barack Obama responded: “Don’t boo. Vote!”
“You can’t stand up to China when all you’ve done is sent them our jobs,” Barack Obama said.
“You can talk a good game. But I like to walk the walk, not just talk the talk. And my experience has been waking up every single day doing everything I can to make sure that American workers get a fair shot in the global economy.”