Donald Trump And Mike Pence Make A Surprise Visit To Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial

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President Trump and Vice President Pence made a short, unannounced visit to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington D.C. on a frigid Monday morning. Trump and Pence laid a wreath at the memorial in order to honor the slain civil rights leader on the memorial of King’s birthday, according to ABC News.

The White House listed no official plans on the President’s schedule for Monday, but Trump and Pence left the White House a little after 11 a.m. to lay a wreath at the foot of the statue representing King — and spent a moment in silent contemplation. All told, the two spent approximately 2 minutes at the site, during which the president turned to assembled cameras and said that it was a “great day” before returning to their vehicle and driving back to the White House.

“Good morning, everybody. Great day. Beautiful day. Thank you for being here. Appreciate it,” he said.

Earlier in the day, Trump sent out a tweet linked to a presidential proclamation issued on Friday.

“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,” he wrote.

The proclamation notes that over the past two years, unemployment rates for African Americans, Asian Americans, and Hispanic Americans without high school diplomas have reached a record low.

Earlier, both Trump and Pence had faced criticism regarding the celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. day.

Pence compared Trump to the civil rights leader for his efforts on immigration. King’s son, Martin Luther King III, shot back at Pence.

“Martin Luther King Jr. was a bridge builder, not a wall builder,” he said.

Prior to the memorial visit, Reverend Al Sharpton blasted Trump for not holding any official events honoring the civil rights leader. This is the second year that Trump has failed to schedule any events of this nature. Last year, per CNN, he spent the day golfing at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

Tennessee Representative Steve Cohen was quick to criticize the brief memorial visit, saying that the appearance was a quick box-checking that involved no real reflection or ceremony.

“Check the box Trump/Pence appearance at #MLK memorial was disrespectful to #MLK2019 and his values. 2 minutes, didn’t look up to see Kings sculpture, didn’t read quotes inscribed thereon,no statement,no period of reflection. Just in, move wreath, leave.Slam bam….”

Trump did not address the partial government shutdown, which has now entered its 31st day.