Melania Trump Unveils Final White House Christmas Decor Theme Before Husband Leaves Office
The first lady said the "America the Beautiful" theme pays tribute to "this land we are all proud to call home"
On Monday morning, Mrs. Trump, 50, thanked the volunteers who helped pull off the "America the Beautiful" theme for making sure "the spirit of peace and joy fill the historic rooms and halls of the People’s House."
"During this special time of the year, I am delighted to share 'America the Beautiful' and pay tribute to the majesty of our great Nation," she wrote on Instagram, also sharing a gallery of snapshots of herself inspecting and admiring the ornaments and elegant trees throughout the White House halls. "Together, we celebrate this land we are all proud to call home."
In a press release about the holiday decor, Mrs. Trump said: "Over the past four years I have had the honor to travel to some of our nation’s most beautiful landmarks and meet some of the most compassionate and patriotic American citizens. From coast to coast, the bond that all American’s share is an appreciation for our traditions, values, and history, which were the inspiration behind the decorations this year. Thank you to all of the staff and volunteers who worked to make sure the People’s House was ready for the holiday season. Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year.”
President Trump continues to claim, without evidence, that he won the Nov. 3 election instead of President-elect Joe Biden. At a White House event last week where he spoke with service-members during Thanksgiving, Trump, 74, acknowledged that he will "certainly" leave office after the Electoral College finalizes his loss on Dec. 14, he also snapped at reporters and continued to allege fraud. The first lady's spokesperson previously told PEOPLE she was "looking forward to once again opening the People’s House for Christmas," adding that she'd been designing the 2020 decor since June.
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"Don't talk to me that way. You're just a lightweight. Don't talk to me that way," Trump told a reporter who pushed back and asked a question. "... I'm the president of the United States. Don't ever talk to the president that way."
Earlier this month, the first lady welcomed an 18-foot Christmas tree for the White House, as is customary. Reflecting the strong and divisive opinions on the Trump administration, Mrs. Trump's Christmas choices have made headlines in the past.
Her 2018 decor featured startlingly red trees that many compared to the dystopian imagery of The Handmaid's Tale.
“I think they look fantastic. I hope everybody will come over and visit it. In real life, they look even more beautiful. You are all welcome to visit the White House, the people’s house,” Mrs. Trump said in 2018, after some of the initial criticism. “... We are in 21st century and everybody has a different taste.”
The first lady has spoken dismissively in private about some of the rituals expected of her role — including overseeing Christmas decorations. Those comments were secretly captured by Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, Mrs. Trump’s former friend and White House aide, who released the recordings in October.
The audio hears Mrs. Trump suggesting to Wolkoff that she felt stuck between ceremonial obligations and the detractors who slammed her for not doing more in response to the president's controversial anti-immigration policies.
"They say I'm complicit. I'm the same like him, I support him. I don't say enough, I don't do enough, where I am? I’m working my a-- off on the Christmas stuff ... who gives a f--- about the Christmas stuff and decorations? But I need to do it, right?" Mrs. Trump is heard saying on the tapes.
She continues in that clip: "Okay, and then I do it and I say that I'm working on Christmas and planning for the Christmas and they said, 'Oh, what about the children that they were separated?' Give me a f------ break. Where they were saying anything when Obama did that?"
The first lady has since dismissed Wolkoff as someone who "hardly knew me," and her spokeswoman called Wolkoff a paranoiac and deceitful.