Trump marks Earth Day with tree planting at the White House with Melania


President Donald Trump marked Earth Day at the White House on Wednesday by planting a tree with Melania Trump on the South Lawn.

‘We’re doing something I love doing: planting trees,’ he told the guests. ‘I’ve always loved it.’

‘This tree will grow, also, and it’ll stand tall and beautiful, and the future generations will be looking at it, and they’ll say, ‘I wonder who planted that tree?” the president noted. 

President Donald Trump marked Earth Day at the White House by planting a maple tree with Melania Trump on the South Lawn

After the tree was planted the Trumps ignored social distancing guidelines to chat with Mike and Karen Pence and several Cabinet officials

After the tree was planted the Trumps ignored social distancing guidelines to chat with Mike and Karen Pence and several Cabinet officials

Interior Secretary David Bernhardt puts his arm around EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler

Interior Secretary David Bernhardt puts his arm around EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler

Vice President Mike Pence patted Interior Secretary David Bernhardt on the shoulder

Vice President Mike Pence patted Interior Secretary David Bernhardt on the shoulder

Before the planting, President Trump talked about how much he loves trees

Before the planting, President Trump talked about how much he loves trees

It was Melania Trump’s first public appearance since March 10, when she joined the president at a presidential medal of freedom ceremony. The first lady has been active on social media during the coronavirus pandemic, posting video tips on how to cope and retweeting advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Melania Trump wore an olive green Victoria Beckham coat in honor of Earth Day paired with Manolo Blahnik heels. She didn’t speak but did help with the planting.

The first couple used gold shovels to plant a maple tree near a linden tree planted by President Bill Clinton just a few feet from the Oval Office. 

Vice President Mike Pence and second lady Karen Pence joined the Trumps in the planting, as did House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, and EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler.

‘We have plenty of dirt left,’ Trump said, inviting them to toss a shovel full around the maple sapling.

After the deed was done, the group ignored social distancing guidelines to gather in a circle to chat. Pence patted Bernhardt on the shoulder at one point. And Bernhardt put his arm around Wheeler. 

Guests at the tree planting ceremony, which took place a few feet from the Oval Office, sat apart from one another in accordance with social distancing guidelines

Guests at the tree planting ceremony, which took place a few feet from the Oval Office, sat apart from one another in accordance with social distancing guidelines

Karen Pence and Melania Trump shared a shovel to plant the tree; as did President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence; the shovel was not wiped down between sharings

Karen Pence and Melania Trump shared a shovel to plant the tree; as did President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence; the shovel was not wiped down between sharings

President Trump lingered on the South Lawn chatting after the ceremony, talking with Melania Trump, House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, Vice President Mike Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence

President Trump lingered on the South Lawn chatting after the ceremony, talking with Melania Trump, House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, Vice President Mike Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence

Melania Trump wore an olive green Victoria Beckham coat in honor of Earth Day paired with Manolo Blahnik heels

Melania Trump wore an olive green Victoria Beckham coat in honor of Earth Day paired with Manolo Blahnik heels 

Melania Trump was last seen in public on March 10, when she joined President Trump when he gave the Presidential Medal of Freedom to General Jack Keane

Melania Trump was last seen in public on March 10, when she joined President Trump when he gave the Presidential Medal of Freedom to General Jack Keane

Additionally, Trump and Pence shared a shovel to plant the tree, as did Melania and Karen. The shovel was not wiped down between being passed around. 

It was a sunny but cool day in Washington. 

President Trump, who’s been showing signs he’s restless, appeared in no hurry to go back inside the White House. 

He, Melania Trump, Pence, Karen Pence and McCarthy lingered on the South Lawn, chatting in the sunshine, before finally going into the Oval Office. 

During the ceremony, guests sat on chairs several feet apart from one another.

‘Everyone is very far away from each other, that’s good,’ the president praised them.

He also announced the Interior Department would be reopening U.S. national parks soon but offered no further information or dates when that would happen. Decisions will likely be based upon individual states and the coronavirus outbreaks in them.

And, during the tree planting, Karen Pence wished Melania Trump a happy birthday in a nod to the first lady’s upcoming 50th birthday, which is on Sunday. 

‘Happy birthday by the way,’ Karen Pence told her as she took the shovel from her to take her turn at planting.

‘Thank you,’ Melania Trump responded. 

Melania Trump has been active behind-the-scenes during the coronavirus pandemic.

She has spoken with the significant others of several world leaders, including Carrie Symonds, the fiancee of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson; Spanish Queen Letizia; Akie Abe of Japan; Sophie Grégoire Trudeau of Canada; Brigitte Macron of France; Laura Mattarella of Italy and Elke Büdenbender of Germany.

The first lady also has taken to social media during the coronavirus crisis, encouraging people to wear face masks and follow social distancing guidelines.  She’s also tweeted out information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and links to fun activities for children

Additionally, Trump has taped video messages that offer tips for parents, activities for children, and well wishes for grandparents. 

Melania Trump said Sunday morning that she still wanted to 'honor' her annual tradition of reading an Easter book to children after having to cancel the White House Easter Egg Roll in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak

Melania Trump said Sunday morning that she still wanted to ‘honor’ her annual tradition of reading an Easter book to children after having to cancel the White House Easter Egg Roll in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak

With the annual White House Easter Egg Roll canceled due to concerns about large gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic, first lady Melania Trump gave 25,000 commemorative Easter eggs to area children's hospitals, federal agencies, aid groups and grocery store chains

With the annual White House Easter Egg Roll canceled due to concerns about large gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic, first lady Melania Trump gave 25,000 commemorative Easter eggs to area children’s hospitals, federal agencies, aid groups and grocery store chains

First lady Melania Trump took to twitter to encourage people to wear surgical masks

First lady Melania Trump took to twitter to encourage people to wear surgical masks

Melania Trump also recorded several public service announcements

Melania Trump also recorded several public service announcements

She had to cancel the annual White House Easter Egg roll because of the pandemic but she posted a video of herself reading on of her favorite Easter books – ‘The Little Rabbit’ – on Twitter on Easter Sunday.

‘Since we are not able to celebrate the traditional Easter Egg Roll on the grounds of the White House this year, I want to take a moment to wish everyone a Happy Easter, and read one of my favorite children’s books,’ Trump said in the four-minute video where she read the book. 

She gave the 25,000 commemorative wooden eggs – which would have gone to children at the Easter Egg Roll – to area children’s hospitals, federal agencies, aid groups and grocery store chains.

Melania Trump tested negative for the coronavirus. 

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