From: Gabriella Morrongiello
Date: June 22, 2017 at 7:57:44 PM EDT
Subject: Pool report No. 5 – POTUS' remarks
June 22, 2017
Vice President Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence took the stage at 7:26pm.
"It's Central Park on the South Lawn," Pence said, looking out at the crowd.
Pence thanked GOP leaders in the House and Senate before inviting a round of applause for "all the men and women who serve in our Congress."
"It's always about family and always about being able to leave politics outside the gate," he said of the picnic.
President Trump and the First Lady entered at 7:30pm. Trump wore a red and white tie, while Melania was dressed in a striped black & white sundress.
"This has truly become, as you know, a wonderful tradition," Trump said. "It is the very first congressional picnic that Melania and I have the pleasure of hosting."
Trump said he and his wife have "developed friendships with some really great people – mostly," drawing laughter from attendees.
Also in the crowd were House Majority Whip Steve Scalise's son and daughter.
"Steve and Jennifer's children – Harrison and Madison – are here. We just gave them a tour of the White House. We gave them the A tour. You know, sometimes we give the B, the C, the F, the D tour. But we gave them the A tour," Trump said.
Trump spent quite some time talking about the recent shooting in Virginia. He thanked special agents Crystal Griner and David Bailey of the Capitol Hill Police for their "lifesaving actions."
Trump told the crowd he had hoped to attend the Congressional baseball game last week "but the folks from Secret Service said 'maybe we better take a pass.'"
"I wanted to be there so badly you have no idea," he said.
Some more quotes from the president:
"It's our hope that the unity that was displayed that evening can maybe continue to grow and thrive between Republicans and Democrats. I think we'd all be doing a lot better and I know the country would be doing a lot better."
"Tonight let us enjoy the comfort of our loved ones and tomorrow let us continue to do the people's bidding and create the optimistic future our citizens so richly deserve."
Trump's remarks ended at 7:36pm. He exited the stage with FLOTUS and shook hands with attendees.
Pool was ushered out minutes later.
Washington Bureau Chief
New York Post