Politics

Beneath the White House briefing room

Published 5:26 PM ET, Sun May 27, 2012
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President Barack Obama holds a news conference in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House. Built in 1970 during the Nixon administration, the briefing room replaced a swimming pool that was installed for President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1934. AFP/Getty Images
A staircase behind the stage leads down to what was once the deep end of the pool. Khalil Abdallah/CNN
The walls are now lined with signatures of White House staff, journalists and celebrities who have visited. Khalil Abdallah/CNN
The pool remains structurally intact and houses TV equipment and miles of cables to support news operations. Khalil Abdallah/CNN
Looking past some video cables, someone wrote, "God bless you and good luck President Obama." Khalil Abdallah/CNN
Above Bono's signature, at lower left, the U2 singer drew his face. Khalil Abdallah/CNN
CNN's Anderson Cooper is among the journalists to leave his mark. Khalil Abdallah/CNN
First lady Laura Bush has also signed one of the walls. Khalil Abdallah/CNN
Earlier this year, Vice President Joe Biden showed the pool to members of his family. He wasn't sure whether they had a Sharpie with them. CNN
A sign on the door leading to the pool warns that it is a restricted area. It's a hidden gem that most tourists don't get to see. Khalil Abdallah/CNN