President TrumpDonald John TrumpHyde-Smith prevails in the runoff in Mississippi after the public meeting between Trump, Cuomo and Tromo, at a meeting at the White House, to discuss an infrastructure project Ivanka Trump and Tim Cook visit the Idaho School District PLUS and first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpThe Hill's 12:30 Report – Trump takes it to Mueller | What to see in the Senate vote of Mississippi | WikiLeaks Denies Report Manafort Meets Assange Hill Morning – Pressure Is On Trump, Republicans In Mississippi Senate Run White House Unveils "American Treasures" Holiday Decorations MORE lit the national Christmas tree on Wednesday, marking the holiday season with the annual tradition outside the White House.
The president briefly appeared on stage at the event, where he wished the participants a merry Christmas.
"Merry Christmas to all," said the president to the crowd. "We just have to say everything together, happy, happy Christmas."
Trump started a countdown from 10, at the end of which the first lady pressed a button to turn on the tree. Both came out of the scene and returned to their place in the front row.
The official lighting was between a range of musical performances, mostly classical holiday songs.
Others present Donald Trump Jr.Advocacy decision of Donald TrumpManafort (setback) is a setback for Mueller Mueller says Manafort has violated Intel Senate Senate Advocacy Agreement: Commission investigation on Russia will continue until 2019 MORE and his girlfriend, former Fox News personality, Kimberly Guilfoyle, as well as the president's daughters, Lara Trump and Tiffany Trump.
Members of the press pool – a group of reporters assigned to stay with the president and document his activities – indicated shortly after 6:30 pm that Trump had returned to the White House without any staff member having warned them media. It is unclear when he left or why the press pool was not notified.
The protective press pool exists to be near the president in case of emergency and to document his movements for the story. Can not do it for the moment. https://t.co/eXXKc8BQox
– Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) November 28, 2018
The entire point of the protection pool must be with POTUS https://t.co/O9atxq7JdH
– Anita Kumar (@ anitakumar01) November 28, 2018
At about the same time, Trump shared a picture of the tree on Twitter.
"On behalf of @FLOTUS Melania and the whole Trump family, I wish you all a very merry Christmas!" Trump wrote. "May this Christmas season bring peace to your hearts, warmth in your homes, encourage your spirits and JOY TO THE WORLD!"
From @FLOTUS Melania and the whole Trump family, I want to wish you all a very merry Christmas! May this Christmas season bring peace to your hearts, warmth in your homes, encourage your spirits and JOY TO THE WORLD! # NCTL2018 pic.twitter.com/XNMJQ5JDSU
– Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 28, 2018
Melania Trump unveiled this week's Christmas decorations at the White House for this year's "American Treasures" theme.