Trump, first lady take part in National Christmas Tree lighting

President TrumpDonald John TrumpHealth insurers Cigna, Humana waive out-of-pocket costs for coronavirus treatment Puerto Rico needs more federal help to combat COVID-19 Fauci says April 30 extension is 'a wise and prudent decision' MORE on Thursday took part in the annual National Christmas Tree lighting, making brief remarks at the celebration just hours after House Democrats made clear they would move to impeach him in the coming weeks.

The president and first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpUK Prime Minister Boris Johnson tests positive for coronavirus Trump defends million in Kennedy Center funding in coronavirus stimulus Budowsky: President Trump, meet with all former living presidents MORE attended a celebration on the Ellipse just outside the White House. Trump did not mention impeachment or politics in brief remarks. He thanked staffers who made the event possible and recounted a bit of history about the ceremony and Christmas itself.

"Melania and I would like to wish you a very, very merry Christmas," Trump told guests.


The president then counted down from five seconds before the first lady flipped a switch to light the tree. A band played “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” as Trump stood behind the podium.

Hundreds of people assembled near the Ellipse to witness the tree lighting, which was followed by musical performances by various artists.

Government attendees included Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt, Rep. Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsMnuchin emerges as key asset in Trump's war against coronavirus The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Airbnb - Senators clinch deal on T stimulus package White House, Senate reach deal on trillion stimulus package MORE (R-N.C.), Rep. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanTrump, privacy hawks upend surveillance brawl Top GOP post on Oversight draws stiff competition McConnell, top GOP senators throw support behind surveillance deal as deadline looms MORE (R-Ohio) and Rep. John RatcliffeJohn Lee RatcliffeGOP presses for swift Ratcliffe confirmation to intel post Acting director of National Counterterrorism Center fired: report Acting director of national intelligence begins hiring freeze: reports MORE (R-Texas), each of whom Trump recognized by name.

Melania Trump earlier this week unveiled the White House Christmas decorations, which adhered to the chosen theme of "The Spirit of America.”

In total, the decorations include 58 Christmas trees, more than 15,000 bows and more than 2,500 strands of lights, according to the White House.

The president complained during his campaign for president that Americans were no longer saying "Merry Christmas." He has suggested at various times since taking office that the country has resumed using that phrase.