I heard about some controversy with the president, but din't catch what it was.
This was clearly a "Right Moment" picture as someone said earlier. The prez was just making sure he or the lady behind him didn't trip. As for the French dude, not sure. For the sake of benifit of the doubt, He couldv'e been looking at something els. Based only on the fact you just see his face and not the direction of his eyes
That's just the benifit of the doubt. Call it optimism.