President Donald Trump signed a declaration to proclaim Dr. Martin Luther King day, praising the civil rights leader for standing up for human rights.
“Today we celebrate Dr. King for standing up for the self-evident truth Americans hold so dear, that no matter what the color of our skin, or the place of our birth, we are all created equal by God,” Trump said during brief remarks before the signing.
The president invited King’s nephew Isaac Newton Farris to deliver remarks about the holiday.
“It’s not a day to hang out in the park … it’s a day to help someone do something else,” Farris said, urging Americans to help each other on the day and be “united.”
Trump’s Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson also spoke, reminding all Americans to treat each other according to the content of their character and not the color of their skin.
“If we keep this conviction at the center of our every word and action, if we look upon our countrymen as brothers with a shared home and a common destination, then instead of meaningless words rolling off of our tongue, we will truly create one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all,” he said.
The president signed the proclamation to applause from the group in the room.
The mood quickly changed when some reporters started shouting about the president’s reported “shithole” comment from Thursday.
“Mr. President are you a racist?” White House reporter April Ryan repeatedly asked the president.
Trump did not reply.