President Trump Surprises White House Visitors as Public Tours Resume
White House tours had previously been suspended during the transition from former President Obama's administration to President Trump's
President Donald Trump reopened the White House to public tours on Tuesday, and greeted the first group of visitors personally.
Appearing from behind a partition, Trump was met with cheers and screams from the tour attendees – which included a large group of children, one of whom was called up by the president for a picture. Coincidentally, the photo op was staged right in front of a portrait of former First Lady Hillary Clinton – Trump’s opponent in the 2016 presidential election.
The public tours are free, but must be requested through members of Congress and done so up to three months in advance. The self-guided tours are then scheduled on a first-come-first-served basis, and held Tuesdays through Saturdays. They had previously been suspended during the transition from former President Obama’s administration to President Trump’s.
First Lady Melania Trump announced the re-opening of the White House Visitors Office last month, saying in a statement, “I am excited to reopen the White House to the hundreds of thousands of visitors who come each year. The White House is a remarkable and historic site and we are excited to share its beauty and history. I am committed to the restoration and preservation of our Nation’s most recognizable landmark.”
Traditionally, the White House Visitors Office operates the public tours, as well as the Easter Egg Roll and national Christmas tree lighting. The first lady appointed her chief of staff, Lindsay Reynolds, in early February, but remains in New York City with the couple’s young son, Barron Trump.
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The first lady and Barron will stay in Manhattan, living at Trump Tower, until the 10-year-old’s school year concludes. They then plan to join the president in the White House residence.