President Trump scrapped the annual congressional picnic and donated the perishable food to veterans at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, a White House spokeswoman announced Friday.
Stephanie Grisham, a spokeswoman for first lady Melania Trump, announced Friday that the perishable food slated to be served at the picnic was “donated to Walter Reed” and the nonperishable food would be used at future events.
Trump said Wednesday he would be canceling Thursday’s picnic so Congress could focus on crafting a comprehensive immigration bill to alleviate the crisis at the border.
“It didn’t feel exactly right to me,” Trump said shortly before he took executive action to keep illegal immigrant families together.
Although Trump canceled the event, White House chefs had already begun preparing steaks on outdoor grills for it. The White House invited Members of Congress, Trump administration officials, and their families to the South Lawn for the picnic.
Michelle Shortencarrier, a spokeswoman for the United Service Organizations (USO) in Bethesda, said the hospital served the donated food for lunch on Friday to patients, families, and employees. She added that the menu included rib-eye steaks, coleslaw, spinach, black beans, quinoa, and pies.
Trump is not the first president to nix the congressional picnic to focus on more pressing legislative matters. Former President Barack Obama canceled the summer soiree as lawmakers debated over allowing military action against Syria.