Trump offers Kwanzaa greetings

Trump offers Kwanzaa greetings
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For President TrumpDonald John TrumpMichelle Obama says not always easy to live up to "we go high" Georgia certifies elections results in bitterly fought governor's race Trump defends border deployment amid fresh scrutiny 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 ObamaMichelle Obama says not always easy to live up to "we go high" Barack Obama makes surprise appearance at Michelle's D.C. event Michelle Obama's stylist downplays controversy over Melania Trump jacket MORE

Presidents George W. Bush and Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonElection Countdown: Abrams ends fight in Georgia governor's race | Latest on Florida recount | Booker, Harris head to campaign in Mississippi Senate runoff | Why the tax law failed to save the GOP majority As Democrats gear up to challenge Trump in 2020, the key political divide will be metropolitan versus rural GOP chairman plans to subpoena Comey, Lynch to testify before next Congress 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.