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Trump offers Kwanzaa greetings

Trump offers Kwanzaa greetings
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For President TrumpDonald John TrumpTillerson: Russia already looking to interfere in 2018 midterms Dems pick up deep-red legislative seat in Missouri Speier on Trump's desire for military parade: 'We have a Napoleon in the making' MORE, it’s time to say "happy Kwanzaa."

The president issued a statement Tuesday marking the beginning of the seven-day festival. 

“Today marks the first day of Kwanzaa, a weeklong celebration of African American heritage and culture. Together, let us celebrate during this joyous time the richness of the past and look with hope toward a brighter future,” Trump said. 

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“As families and friends join to light the Kinara, Melania and I extend our warmest wishes for a joyful holiday season and a prosperous year to come,” he said.

During the holiday season, Trump has argued he made it OK to wish people a “merry Christmas” again. 

It’s a message he has used to combat what he sees as rampant political correctness. 

“People are proud to be saying Merry Christmas again. I am proud to have led the charge against the assault of our cherished and beautiful phrase. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!” Trump tweeted on Christmas Eve. 

In 2011, Trump criticized then-President Obama, claiming he was downplaying Christmas.

“What a convenient mistake: @BarackObama issued a statement for Kwanza but failed to issue one for Christmas,” Trump tweeted at the time.

That year, Obama wished followers a “Merry Christmas” on his Twitter account and repeated the greeting in a holiday video with first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaSNL's Melania Trump gets advice from former first ladies ahead of the State of the Union Trump to host Super Bowl watch party at Florida golf club Michelle Obama: Bad behavior in the age of Trump makes teachers' jobs more difficult MORE

Presidents George W. Bush and Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonLongtime Clinton confidant blames Comey for 2016 loss Trump’s national monument rollbacks take effect A year after Obama, Dems still looking for replacement MORE also marked the Kwanzaa celebration in statements. 

Kwanzaa, which was first celebrated in 1966, culminates with a feast and gift giving. The holiday ends Jan. 1.