How do you increase White House press briefing views by nearly 300,000 in one week? Just invite K-pop megastars BTS, who attended the briefing led by press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Tuesday. The seven-member group, in matching black and white suits, were in town to discuss anti-Asian hate crimes with President Biden. Holding up their signature heart-shaped hand gesture, they snapped a picture with the President in the Oval Office, and Biden tweeted out his own video recap:
It was great to meet with you, @bts_bighit. Thanks for all you’re doing to raise awareness around the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes and discrimination.
I look forward to sharing more of our conversation soon. pic.twitter.com/LnczTpT2aL
— President Biden (@POTUS) June 1, 2022
But their visit wasn’t all serious business. Band members V and Jin headed to Ashburn to soar through the indoor wind tunnels at sky-diving complex iFly. They also hit neighboring driving range Topgolf, where they posted videos of themselves taking a few swings.
The “Dynamite” singers also competed in a basketball shooting contest with R&B singer H.E.R. at Bowlero in Crystal City (Jung Kook and J-hope tied). Ahead of Wednesday night’s Coldplay show at FedEx Field—where H.E.R. was one of the opening acts—they dined with frontman Chris Martin and actor Dakota Johnson at RPM Italian in Downtown DC (they ordered the chicken parm and the whole salted caramel/vanilla cake, which is set alight at the table). And J-Hope posted a video inside RPM sister restaurant Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak, and Stone Crab, where they dined Monday night on oysters, king crab and a 24 ounce ribeye.
They also played tourist, taking a walk by Memorial Bridge and the Lincoln Memorial.