At a White House Tradition, Politics Color Everything but the Easter Eggs


WASHINGTON — At the White House Easter Egg Roll on Monday, President Trump ditched his escort — the Easter bunny — to take up a decidedly unfestive agenda: He fielded questions on impeachment and unruly advisers earlier than briefing a little one about the development of a wall at the southwestern border.

As lots of of kids hunted for eggs, Mr. Trump wandered over to take questions from journalists. He addressed the “terrible” terrorist assaults in Sri Lanka, the chance of impeachment proceedings — “not even a little bit” fearful, he stated — and the prolonged investigation carried out by Robert S. Mueller III, the particular counsel, which contained accounts of advisers who repeatedly declined to hold out his needs, together with a request to fireside Mr. Mueller.

“Nobody disobeys my orders,” stated the president, wearing a pastel pink and purple tie for the event, concluding his first public remarks to the information media since the report was launched on Thursday. Nearby, kids bunted eggs round the South Lawn. The portrait of tonal dissonance was full.

Politics have change into a hallmark of even the most staid White House vacation traditions underneath Mr. Trump.

Of course, most attendees — estimated at 30,000 by the White House — were focused on the holiday at hand.

The responsibility for planning the event, which dates back 141 years, fell on the first lady, Melania Trump, and she stayed on topic. She approached her corner of the reading nook to a round of applause and joked with the crowd of children before she settled in to recite “The Wonderful Things You Will Be,” which she hailed as a “fantastic book.”

During her own time in the reading nook, Ms. Sanders beckoned children to come closer as she read a book about an Easter egg, which she said she hoped was on topic.

Nearby on the South Lawn, Mr. Trump careened from Easter to politics. At one point, he stopped to sign one child’s T-shirt and autographed the arm of another young attendee. As he was helping children color in cards for American troops, a child celebrating the holiday paused to ask him about progress on a wall he has promised to build along the southwestern border.

“Oh, it’s happening,” Mr. Trump said. “It’s being built now.”

This month, the president threatened to immediately seal the border with Mexico and then backed away from that promise. He accepted the resignation of Kirstjen Nielsen, the homeland security secretary, and signaled that he was prepared to enact even fiercer immigration policies.

On Monday, the president seemed to marvel at the young attendee’s interest in an area that has remained top-of-mind among his most fervent supporters, and seemed to welcome the validation.

“Here’s a young guy who said, ‘Keep building that wall.’ Can you believe that?” Mr. Trump asked reporters gathered on the South Lawn. “He’s going to be a conservative someday!”



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