Trump, first lady light National Christmas Tree

Trump, first lady light National Christmas Tree
© Getty Images

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: I will deliver State of the Union 'when the shutdown is over' Former NYPD commander claims Trump got special treatment for gun licenses Colbert starts petition for Cardi B to give State of the Union rebuttal MORE and first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report — Trump’s new immigration plan faces uphill battle in Senate Overnight Defense: Trump says he won't declare emergency 'so fast' | Shutdown on track to become longest ever | Military begins withdrawing equipment from Syria | Bolton taps new deputy Bolton names replacement for deputy who clashed with first lady 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 attendees a merry Christmas.

"Merry Christmas, everybody," the president told the crowd. "We just have to say it all together, merry, merry Christmas."


Trump began a countdown from 10, at the end of which the first lady hit a button to light the tree. The two exited the stage and returned to their seats in the front row.

The official lighting was sandwiched between an array of musical performances, mostly of classic holiday songs.

Others in attendance included Donald Trump Jr.Donald (Don) John TrumpFormer NYPD commander claims Trump got special treatment for gun licenses Pavlich: Mueller’s indictment of the media Dem senator: 'Putin had something on' Trump which may account for 'plainly false' statements MORE and his girlfriend, former Fox News personality Kimberly Guilfoyle, as well the president's daughters, Lara Trump and Tiffany Trump.

Members of the press pool — a group of reporters assigned to remain with the president and document his activities — indicated shortly after 6:30 p.m. that Trump had returned to the White House without any staffers notifying the media.

Olivier Knox, the White House Correspondents' Association (WHCA) president, later said he looked into the situation, and concluded the incident was the result of a "logistical glitch."

Trump shared a photo of the tree on Twitter.

"On behalf of @FLOTUS Melania and the entire Trump family, I want to wish you all a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!" Trump wrote. "May this Christmas Season bring peace to your hearts, warmth to your homes, cheer to your spirits and JOY TO THE WORLD!"

Melania Trump earlier this week unveiled the holiday decorations inside the White House for this year's season with a theme of "American Treasures."

Updated at 9:45 p.m.