President Donald Trump made a surprise Monday morning visit to the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial in Washington D.C. on the holiday named in his honor.
Trump made the visit alongside Vice President Mike Pence and a National Park ranger to mark the occasion. The president pre-empted the visit with a tweet lauding the national holiday and by issuing a presidential proclamation.
Today we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for standing up for the self-evident truth Americans hold so dear, that no matter what the color of our skin or the place of our birth, we are all created equal by God. #MLKDay https://t.co/pEaVpCB8M4
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 21, 2019
“Good morning, everybody. Great day. Beautiful day. Thank you for being here. Appreciate it,” Trump told the assembled press team. (RELATED: Watch President Trump’s Martin Luther King Day Message)
Trump’s proclamation lauded historically low levels of minority unemployment and the recent passage of criminal justice reform, noting:
We have added more than 5 million new jobs to the economy over the past 2 years and unemployment rates for African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, and Americans without a high school degree have reached record lows.
Last year, I was proud to sign into law the First Step Act, which will prepare inmates to successfully rejoin society and effect commonsense reforms to make our justice system fairer for all Americans.
Trump marked the occasion in different form from the previous year when he released a weekly video marking the occasion. The video commemorated King’s legacy in the U.S., noting that his dream of a racially equal world “is the dream of a world where people are judged by who they are, not how they look or where they come from.” He added, “it is a dream of a nation faithful to its founding principle that we are all created equal.”