Amidst a politically-active week for the White House and poor weather conditions, Easter Celebrations, highlighted by the annual Egg Roll Event, lightened the mood and brought over thousands of people to the White House.
The President, First Lady, and their youngest son Barron stood on the balcony of the residence during the ceremony, accompanied by none other than the Easter Bunny. According to the White House, “all three Trumps stood at attention with their right hands over their hearts for the national anthem.”
However, a recently viral video shows what appears to be the First Lady nudging President Trump to propagate him to put his right hand over his heart.
Although a seemingly minor, and potentially misconceived, action, people are avidly denouncing this as an act of disrespect, even saying that if President Obama had done something similar during his time in office, that he would have received much greater backlash.
All the media attention this short clip has received may be reflective of how hyper-critical the public is regarding some of Trump’s smallest actions.
Regardless of this mild controversy, the Easter event was a great success. Although there were political understatements throughout the event, with the small mention to the broader themes of Trump’s platform, the focus was on celebrating Easter despite the poor weather conditions.
There was particular emphasis on respecting the military during the POTUS and FLOTUS’ addresses, with Trump introducing the card-making for soldiers event, and Melanie later saying: “I want to thank the military…all around the world who are keeping us safe.”
The First Lady read. “Party Animals” by Kathie Lee Grifford, which is a children’s book about overcoming differences – a strategically chosen book, considering the many differences, particularly racial, that continue to forge a divide in American society.
Trump also congratulated and thanked the First Lady for her efforts in organizing the Easter celebration, to “keep it just right”.
Melania also thanked the public for joining the celebrations and acknowledged that it was “the first time that my husband and I are hosting this wonderful tradition”, but expressed a gratitude in having had the opportunity to host such an event.
The rest of the day the POTUS spent fulfilling many presidential duties – speaking to children and parents at the event, signing books, taking photos, etc.
Growing tensions with North Korea
Outside of the White House, political proceedings were fairly quiet in comparison to the heightened activity over the past few days. Vice President Pence continued his 10-day journey through Southern Asia and Australia, most recently meeting with South Korean leaders to discuss growing tensions between North Korea. He reassured South Korea “that even in these troubled times, the United States stands with them for a free and secure future”.
During the daily question period at the White House, the discussion was first focused mainly on North Korea. Once again, reference was made to Trump’s meeting with President Xi in Mar-a-Lago, and how their developing relationship will help strengthen America’s diplomatic powers and capabilities in the region.
Spicer said of the meeting and relationship that “the results […] are paying off”.
When pressured on what courses of action the U.S. would take to pressure North Korea, the answer was to “continue to urge China to exhibit its influence in the region”, particularly with regards to economic and trade ties with North Korea.
Spicer emphasized that the U.S. will continue to work with China to address the problems with North Korea, which set a seemingly positive outlook on relying on international diplomatic relations to solve threats to international security.
the Veterans Choice Program Extension and Improvement Act
On Wednesday, Trump will sign the Veterans Choice Program Extension and Improvement Act, which was passed by the Senate earlier in April.
The bill, as described by Press Secretary Sean Spicer, “ensures that veterans have certainty and continuity of care while this administration works with Congress to develop a plan that reforms the VA system and gives our nation’s heroes the care that they deserve”
Buy American, Hire American
Today, Trump heads to Wisconsin to speak regarding his “Buy American, Hire American” platform. He’ll be speaking at Snap-on Tools, a company that builds products made in America by American workers, “a prime example” of what Trump envisions for the future of business development in America.