WASHINGTON — Tommy Schultz had planned every detail of his proposal to girlfriend Ashley Harvey, which was to take place Tuesday before the couple, who had recently moved to Washington, went on a White House tour — he’d gone through Secret Service and White House staff, picked the perfect spot, and gotten a photographer in place.
One thing he couldn’t account for: the news cycle. At the very place and moment he planned to pop the question, the White House press corps was gathering on the driveway outside the press room, as the news was breaking about the memo that FBI Director James Comey had written documenting President Donald Trump’s request that he squash the investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
Cameras and reporters were everywhere. “I thought, oh no, I need to change locations,” Schultz said. “But then I thought, I just gotta go for it.”
Seeing the scene unfold, the White House press corps cheered and clapped — and then they tweeted, leading to a reaction Schultz describes as “wild.”
The couple’s engagement story wound up on CNN and other news reports. Friends and extended family found out about it on the morning news. The social-media commentariat, of course, weighed in, some with funny comments about press secretary Sean Spicer lurking in the bushes nearby or about needing some good news out of the White House. Others were less kind. (“The marriage is doomed!” was among the more printable of the genre.)
Schultz said he and his fiancee — he’s the communications director for the American Federation for Children, and she works for a digital media firm — have been enjoying the virtual high-fives and tuning out the haters. “I try to stay away from the trolls — that’s never a good recipe for mental sanity,” he said.