President Trump told schoolchildren and visitors gathered for his inaugural White House Easter Egg Roll that the country will be “stronger, and bigger, and better as a nation than ever before.”

Standing alongside a bespectacled Easter Bunny, the first lady and his 11-year-old son, Barron Trump, the president addressed the crowd from the Truman Balcony at Monday’s 139th annual Egg Roll on the South Lawn.

“Think of it — 139. It began a long time ago, 1878,” Trump said of the springtime tradition, “and we will be stronger, and bigger, and better as a nation than ever before. We’re right on track.”

“You see what’s happening — and we’re right on track,” Trump reiterated.


“I don’t know if we’re gonna be successful,” Trump said of the egg-rolling festivities, “but I know a lot of people down there are gonna be successful. I’ve seen those kids, and they’re highly, highly competitive. That I can tell you,” he said.

Trump praised his wife, acknowledging what he described as her efforts in organizing the White House event.

“I just want to thank first lady Melania Trump,” the president said.  “She’s really worked hard on this. She has been working on this for a long time to make it perfect, and we wanted to keep it just right."

A recent New York Times article had questioned the readiness of the White House in pulling off the Easter-themed occasion, which typically brings thousands of attendees to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. “The late start in planning by the Trump White House points to a smaller and less ambitious Egg Roll than in previous years,” the Times wrote.

“It’s great that you are all with us today,” Melania Trump said Monday. “I want to thank all the military with us today, and all military in this great nation, and servicemen and servicewomen all around the world who are keeping us safe.”