"Martin, as the President of the United States, this comes with the full weight, power and authority of my office. Fuck you."
―James Sawyer to Martin Walker
James Sawyer
James Sawyer
Name: James William Sawyer
Status: Alive
Birthplace: United States of America
Nationality: Flag of the United States American
Residence(s): Washington, D.C.,
United States of America
Marital status: Married
Spouse(s): Alison Sawyer
Children: Amber Sawyer
Played by: Jamie Foxx
Appears in: 1 film

James William Sawyer is the 46th and 49th President of the United States.



Peace talksEdit

Sawyer began to make plans regarding a worldwide peace treaty, to make it a better place and proving that he can be a great President.

White House takenEdit

On October 4, 2014, amid his plans for a worldwide peace treaty, President Sawyer returned to the White House, where he would soon meet Emily and John Cale, who were there for John's job interview for the United States Secret Service and then, the White House tour.

After being informed by Emily that John had gotten the job and giving Emily a brief answer to a question, as well as a greeting for her YouTube page, Sawyer quietly whispered to John to stop lying to children, as he could tell that he didn't really get the job, before carrying on with his schedule.

The White House was soon attacked by a group of American mercenaries, led by Emil Stenz. President Sawyer was soon escorted by Martin Walker and other members of the Secret Service to the Oval Office. Walker soon concocted a plan to escort Sawyer to the Presidential bunker.

After arriving at the bunker, Walker killed the other Secret Service members and informed Sawyer that he had been behind the attacks, for reasons relating to the death of his son, Kevin. However, Cale soon made his way to the bunker and rescued Sawyer from Walker's clutches.

Protected by CaleEdit

Cale and Sawyer manage to reach out to command which tells Cale to get Sawyer out through underground tunnels. At the command center, Finnerty uses Emily's video to discover the mercenaries' identities, discovering that they used to work for various government agencies and radical political groups. They are informed that Stenz, a former Special Forces operative, was disavowed and burned on mission, leading to his capture by the Taliban, making his involvement one of retribution. They also discover that Walker has an inoperable tumor, suggesting his involvement to be a suicide mission and that the attack is not for ransom. Cale and Sawyer find the tunnel gate rigged with an explosive and are forced to escape with a presidential limousine. Cale and Sawyer are flipped into the White House pool and a gunfight erupts which results in an explosion that leaves Sawyer and Cale presumed dead. Hammond is then sworn in as President.

When Cale and Sawyer reveal they are still alive, they learn Hammond has approved an aerial incursion by Delta Force to take back the White House. Knowing the mercenaries have Javelin surface-to-air missiles, Cale tries but fails to stop the mercenaries from shooting down the helicopters. Cale gets into a fight with Stenz and ends up dropping his White House passes for himself and Emily while escaping. Having already learned of Emily from the video, Stenz, knowing that she is Cale's daughter, takes her to Walker in the Oval Office. Meanwhile, Tyler finishes the upload to NORAD and launches a missile at Air Force One, killing everyone on board, including Hammond. Raphelson is then sworn in as President and orders an air strike on the White House. Finnerty informs Cale of Raphelson's decision.

Walker tells Cale over the White House intercom to surrender Sawyer or he will kill Emily. Sawyer ultimately surrenders himself to save Emily, knowing Cale could still save them if he was free. Walker reveals to Sawyer that his motive for the attack is to convey a message of American power. Because of Sawyer's dislike for military force, and his backing out of the mission that killed his son, Walker had grown to believe Sawyer was too weak to be president. By launching a nuclear assault on Iran, Walker hoped to regain international respect for America. However, Sawyer refuses to activate the football. When Walker threatens to kill Emily again, the alarms and sprinklers are set off by Cale setting various rooms on fire.

Sawyer attacks a distracted Walker, who ultimately gains the upper hand and uses Sawyer to activate the football before apparently shooting him dead, infuriating Emily. Using updated launch codes received by an anonymous source, Walker targets various cities in Iran, but before he initiates the launch, Cale, who had just battled and killed Emil Stenz by blowing him up with a grenade belt, crashes into the office in a presidential escort vehicle and kills Walker with a minigun. When Emily is told of the air strike, she takes a presidential flag and waves it on the front lawn and gets the fighters to call off the attack, the news media considers her a hero. Sawyer reveals himself to be alive as the bullet that hit him hit Abraham Lincoln's pocket watch his wife had given him. Finnerty calls them to reveal that the mercenaries were not called in by Walker and that there is another mastermind behind the attack. Cale realizes who it is and asks Sawyer for his help in exposing the traitor.

When Finnerty arrives at the White House with Raphelson, Cale tells them Sawyer was killed. Raphelson then orders troops to be placed back into the Middle East, which would go against Sawyer's peace treaty. Cale reveals Raphelson had orchestrated the attack because of Raphelson's disagreement with Sawyer's treaty and proves it by having Finnerty call the call-back number on Walker's pager. Sawyer then reveals himself and has Raphelson taken into custody, treating Raphelson's taking of the Presidency as a coup d'état. Sawyer officially employs Cale into the Secret Service and takes him and Emily on an aerial tour of Washington, D.C. on his way to the hospital while it is revealed that the countries of the world are signing his peace treaty.

Behind the ScenesEdit


  • President James Sawyer was portrayed by Jamie Foxx in White House Down.
  • President James Sawyer is a Democrat.
  • James Sawyer loved Abraham Lincoln and had a watch of his. Ironically, Lincoln's watch stopped Walker's bullet, saving his life.
  • Sawyer has an affinity for Air Jordan sneakers and uses Nicorette gum to quit smoking.
  • President Sawyer killed two terrorists in White House Down.

  • The character of Sawyer was inspired by president James Marshall from Air Force One but also more of the reluctant, inept heroes such as Stanley Goodspeed from The Rock.

  • He is similar to US President Grover Cleveland as they both served two non-consecutive terms. Grover Cleveland served as the 22nd and 24th President while James Sawyer served as the 46th and 49th President.

Controversy and CriticismEdit

The character of James Sawyer has recieved some criticism from both sides of the political field for seeming to be based almost entirely on president Barack Hussein Obama. Jamie Foxx, who ad-libbed many of the character's memorable lines, has denied these allegations, although he has acknowledged that a few of the character's trademarks are references to the president, including nicorette gum and Air Jordans.

If anything, Sawyer appears to be based more off southern Jimmy Carter and controversial underdog Abraham Lincoln than Obama. He only shares a few traits with Obama, such as political struggles, skin color or being the African-American Presidents of the US and minor trademarks.


James Sawyer has a Photo Gallery.

White House Down Characters
Heroes John Cale - President James Sawyer - Emily Cale
Villains Martin Walker - Emil Stenz - Eli Raphelson
Allies Carol Finnerty - Donnie Donaldson - Caulfield
Henchmen Skip Tyler - Carl Killick - Conrad Cern - Motts - Vadim - Ritter - Bobby
Other characters Melanie Cale - Muriel Walker - Alison Sawyer - Amber Sawyer