The actors and their fellow cast members were invited to the Washington, D.C. residence on 29 April (16) to take part in a panel discussion about their political drama with school students, and later that evening, they were among the guests who attended the International Jazz Day celebrations at the White House.

As part of the trip, Kerry and her co-stars were given a private tour of the national monument, and she and Tony, who plays the president on Scandal, made the most of their visit by posing for a quick picture in a usually closed-off area right outside the Oval Office.

"Kerry and I kind of took some liberties (during the visit)...," Tony confessed during an appearance on U.S. morning show Live! With Kelly and Michael. "We did a panel discussion/conference with students at the White House and then we walked the West Wing to go to a reception and this amazing jazz concert that happened, and Kerry and I were walking through the colonnade, which is that outdoor area where the President walks in.

"Usually you're not allowed to go out there, and the President was in the Oval Office having a meeting, and we were walking through the Rose Garden and the light was on in the Oval, and Kerry and I were like, 'Let's take a selfie!', so we took a picture."

They both immediately posted the image on social media, but the sneaky snap earned them a telling off from a White House official.

"As soon as we finished they (White House official) went, 'Er, by the way guys, no pictures allowed in the White House!'" he smiled. "And we were like, 'Sorry, already up on social media!'"

The International Jazz Day event featured performances from Herbie Hancock, Al Jarreau, Sting, and soul legend Aretha Franklin, and Tony reveals he managed to snag a 'selfie' with Aretha the following day, as they both prepared to head to the White House Correspondents' Dinner.

"I was in the hotel lobby, where we were staying, and who should come walking through the lobby but Aretha Franklin, who I'd seen the previous night before perform at this concert at the White House," he recalled. "The Queen of Soul, she's very regal, and she's walking towards me, through the lobby, and my heart starts pounding and I'm like, 'Do I dare go up to Miss Franklin...?'

"I thought... 'You wanna be respectful (and keep your distance), and as I'm trying to make that decision, all of a sudden her eyes lock on me and she's like, 'Oh my God, I love Scandal!' She's like, 'Can I please have a picture with you?' I'm like, 'Er, of course!'"