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Astros' Altuve responds to viral image from White House visit

Credit: Chip Somodevilla
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 12: Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve (R) watches U.S. President Donald Trump during a celebration of the team's World Series victory in the East Room of the White House March 12, 2018 in Washington, DC. Trump talked about Hurricane Harvey and the city and team's resilience in the face of the storm. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

HOUSTON – After an image went viral of Jose Altuve staring down President Trump during the Houston Astros’ White House visit Monday, the second baseman is speaking out.

Getty Images photographer Chip Somodevilla captured this image of Altuve glaring at the president during Trump’s speech congratulating the team on their 2017 World Series title.

Many people online speculated that Altuve was angry, especially because Trump made a joke about his height.

“He’s much taller than I thought,” Trump said during his speech.

Photos: Astros visit the White House

But Altuve said his glare at the president was all a misunderstanding.

“I’m (standing) behind the president—probably one of the most important guys in the world,” Altuve told reporters Tuesday. “I can’t be laughing or doing stupid things while he’s talking.”

The Astros were taking part in the traditional visit to the White House that often accompanies a team winning a championship. The Astros beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games to win their first World Series in franchise history.

Photos: Astros celebrate World Series win

Altuve made it clear he wanted to be there.

“It was an honor to be there,” he said. “If I didn’t want to go, I just wouldn’t go.”

Astros shortstop Carlos Correa and now-retired outfielder Carlos Beltran didn’t make the trip.