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WH pool report #4
David Smith • The Guardian
February 21, 2017: 10:35 AM

At 9.56am POTUS came to the lectern and read remarks from typed A4 pages in a ring binder for about eight minutes.

Behind him, from left to right as we looked, were Candy and Ben Carson, Alveda King, Ivanka Trump and Senator Tim Scott.

POTUS paid tribute to the "love" shown by African American Museum director Lonnie Bunch and urged him to join the group up front, which he did. The same happened with David Skorton of the Smithsonian and philanthropist David Rubenstein, who stood to the left of the Carsons.

POTUS said: "This museum is a beautiful tribute to so many American heroes." He ran through a list that included Frederick Douglass.

POTUS said he'd had a comprehensive tour of the museum but not comprehensive enough. "Lonnie, I'll be back." He noted that First Lady Melania Trump visited last week and is "still talking about it".

POTUS described the need to fight "bigotry" and "hatred" and made particular reference to antisemitism.

He then talked about his admiration for Carson and expressed hope he'll be confirmed as HUD secretary soon. "The Democrats, they'll come along... We're going to do great things in our African American communities together."

POTUS also talked about Alveda King and seeing her uncle Martin Luther King's exhibit. Alveda King came to the mic, praised the Trump family and said: "You're the best, you're great."

POTUS ended with a Martin Luther King quotation and spoke of how the nation has been divided a long time. "We're going to bring this country together."

He finished then turned to those standing behind him, spending longest with Carson. Skorton presented him with a Smithsonian badge and appeared to pin it on POTUS's jacket.

POTUS left without answering shouted questions.

Motorcade arrived back at the White House at 10.15am. Your pooler grabbed a quick interview with Carson. Transcript of POTUS remarks and Carson to follow.

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