Trump touts economy, military but slams Democrats at Easter egg roll

PHOTO: President Donald Trump and the Easter Bunny, after speaking to the crowd on the Truman Balcony during the annual White House Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, April 2, 2018. PlayPablo Martinez Monsivais/AP
WATCH Trump welcomes crowd to White House Easter Egg Roll

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump hosted thousands of children and their families at the White House Easter Egg Roll – an annual tradition that came with a side of politics.

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With the first lady and a bespectacled Easter Bunny at his side, the president raved about the “perfect weather” and touted the U.S. economy and military, calling this a “special year.”

“You look at the economy, you look at what's happening, nothing's ever easy, but we have never had an economy like we have right now,” the president said from the White House South Portico. “We're going to make it bigger and better and stronger.”

“Our military is now at a level, will soon be at a level it has never been before,” he said. “So many military people are with us today. So just think of $700 billion, because that's all going into our military this year.”

PHOTO: President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump blow whistles for children gathered for the annual White House Easter Egg Roll with his daughter Tiffany and son Barron on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, April 2, 2018. Carlos Barria/Reuters
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump blow whistles for children gathered for the annual White House Easter Egg Roll with his daughter Tiffany and son Barron on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, April 2, 2018.

After spending the morning tweeting about the fate of DACA recipients – undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children but protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program Trump ordered ended – the president fielded a reporter’s question on the topic and declared Democrats at fault.

"The Democrats have really let them down. They've really let them down," the president said when a reporter asked if DACA kids should worry. "They had this great opportunity. Democrats have really let them down. It's a shame and now people are taking advantage of DACA and that's a shame. It should have never happened."

Monday's festivities marked the 140th White House Easter Egg Roll - a tradition dating back to the presidency of Rutherford B. Hayes. The White House expected nearly 30,000 to turn out for the festivities at various points in the day.

The president presided over some of the events – blowing a whistle for the Easter egg roll races, signing cards for the military, and mingling with attendees - including Energy Secretary Rick Perry and his granddaughter.

PHOTO: President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump walk out onto the Truman Balcony with a person in an Easter Bunny costume during the 140th annual Easter Egg Roll at the White House, April 2, 2018 in Washington, DC. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump walk out onto the Truman Balcony with a person in an Easter Bunny costume during the 140th annual Easter Egg Roll at the White House, April 2, 2018 in Washington, DC.

Several of the president's children and their families were in attendance - Barron, Tiffany, Eric, Don Jr. and Don Jr.'s wife Vanessa, who separated from her husband last month.

The president thanked those who helped organize the events, including his wife and the White House Historical Association.

“I want to thank the White House Historical Association and all of the people that work so hard with Melania, with everybody to keep this incredible house or building or whatever you want to call it because there really is no name for it,” the president said, referring to the White House.

“It is special. And we keep it in tip-top shape. We call it sometimes tippy top shape,” he said.

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