Melania Trump welcomed the official White House Christmas Tree on Monday and then joined the president in honoring Conan, the hero dog who helped run down terror leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
The first lady, dressed in high-heeled black boots and a floral Dolce and Gabbana coat, joined Donald Trump and Mike Pence in celebrating Conan with a ceremony at the White House Rose Garden.
But Melania laughed when asked if she would adopt the Belgian Malinois for 13-year-old Barron Trump, and gave a firm: ‘No.’
Melania Trump welcomed the official White House Christmas Tree
She then joined President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence in honoring Conan, the hero dog, seen with a handler
Melania Trump laughed and said she would not adopt Conan for 13-year-old Barron, last seen with his parents in August
The Trump family, unlike other first families, does not have a pet.
Conan remains on active military duty and will be returning to the Middle East, where U.S. forces are still hunting ISIS fighters.
The first lady made no comments nor petted Conan during the seven minute ceremony – it is normal protocol not to pet service animals.
President Trump, however, spoke at some length about Conan’s attributes, while Vice President Mike Pence repeatedly rubbed Conan’s head.
Conan became famous after the White House and Defense Department officials told the story of how he helped run down the ISIS chief before Baghdadi blew himself up, killing himself and young family members and injuring the animal during the October raid.
He was flown in from the Middle East for the appearance.
The dog was a good boy during his appearance with the first couple. He did not bark or make any threatening actions but, instead, sat with his tongue out and tail wagging, taking in calmly the rows of photographers taking her photo and reporters shouting questions.
Before she joined her husband in honoring Conan, the first lady welcomed the official White House Christmas tree to the residence.
Its arrival, on a horse-drawn carriage as a military band played Christmas music in the background, kicks off the holiday season at the White House.
Melania Trump and her staff put in months of work – planning for this year’s began early in the summer – on the decorations that will fill the public reception rooms at the White House for the holidays.
Melania Trump greets the horse-drawn wagon bearing the White House Christmas tree
The tree came from Pennsylvania and will go in the Blue Room of the White House
The first lady wore a floral Dolce and Gabbana coat for her events on Monday
Typically the holiday decorations are revealed around the beginning of December and have been the subject of much chatter on social media, as were last year’s now infamous red trees.
The first lady designs the holiday theme herself.
There will be dozens of holiday receptions – for White House staff, members of the military, lawmakers and others – over the next month.
‘The President and First Lady host dozens of events over the holiday season to include the delivery of the Christmas tree, Thanksgiving turkey pardon, special holiday tours for the public, and many holiday parties for military families, children, friends, White House staff, and the United States Secret Service,’ White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham told DailyMail.com.
But she wouldn’t offer any hint as to what this year’s theme may be.
‘I don’t want to get ahead of the First Lady’s décor for this year, but I can tell you that as always, Mrs. Trump put the guest experience first and applied that to every detail of planning. It is her intention that people get a sense of warmth, family, nostalgia, and the important meaning of Christmas as they walk the halls of the people’s house,’ Grisham said.
Additionally, the Capitol welcomed the Christmas tree for the U.S. Capitol on Monday
The first lady personally designs the White House Christmas theme; last year’s red trees were the subject of much chatter on social media
The year before had featured white wooden trees that many people on social media joked were incredibly eerie
It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Washington D.C.
Also on Monday, the official tree for the U.S. Capitol arrived. It’s a blue spruce from New Mexico and will be lit by Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday, December 4.
That’s a different ceremony from the National Christmas Tree lighting, which will be carried out by the president and first lady on Thursday, December 5.
And the tree the first lady inspected on Monday is yet a different tree – this one goes in the Blue Room of the White House, the center diplomatic room and the main view point of guests when they enter the residence’s front door.
The first lady came down the front stairs of the White House to examine the tree, which was pulled up to the front door on a horse-drawn wagon.
She walked around the wagon to look at it and then wished bystanders a ‘Merry Christmas everyone.’
She also greeted the family of Larry Snyder of Mahantongo Valley Farms, who grew the 2019 White House Christmas Tree.
Melania Trump is presented with the 2019 White House Christmas Tree from Pennsylvania resident Larry Snyder of Mahantongo Valley Farms
Conan, a Belgian Malinois, was honored for her actions in an October ISIS raid
The first lady is all smiles as she joins the president and Conan at the White House
The tree is the center piece of the White House decorations.
Last year’s red trees were mocked on social media, compared to the red handmaids dresses worn by the women forced into sexual slavery in The Handmaid’s Tale and the blood that flows down the hallway in the 1980 horror film The Shining.
At the time, Melania Trump defended her controversial red trees as ‘fantastic.’
‘We are in the 21st century and everybody has a different taste. I think they look fantastic,’ she told a town hall event at Liberty University last November. ‘In real life they look more beautiful and you’re all very welcome to visit the White House, the people’s house’.
More than 40 red Christmas trees made of cranberries and other berries strung together greeted guests when they walked onto the White House’s East Colonnade and became so famous some visitors snipped off bits of branches to take as souvenirs.
Last year’s theme was ‘American Treasures’ and included patriotic tones in the color scheme, along with nods to the first family’s various interests: the president’s love of buildings, the first lady’s ‘Be Best’ campaign and Barron Trump’s love of soccer.
Tree decorations have proven controversial for this White House.
Last year’s red trees caused a social media sensation and, the year before that, it was white trees that were the talk of the internet.