Behind the Scenes: Melania Trump Visits Joint Base Andrews’ Youth Center, Meets with Children


Report by Hunter Walker, Yahoo News

ANDREWS AFB-The following is this afternoon’s White House press pool report from Yahoo News’ Hunter Walker, in its unedited form, released to the media.  Below is the entire report…


First Lady Melania Trump arrived at the Joint Base Andrews Youth Center at about 2:48 pm on Friday. It is a before and after school facility for children whose parents work and live on the base including military personnel, contractors and civilians.

Trump departed her motorcade and walked into a room with a sign on the door designating it as a “PLAY ZONE.” Inside, about eight children sat at three tables. One group was playing with Legos while the other two made art. Trump was accompanied by Dawn Goldfein, the wife of the Air Force Chief of Staff. The pair was greeted by the director of the base’s youth programs and Dr. Teichert, the wife of the commander of the 11th wing and Joint Base Andrews. After saying hello to the children at each table and almost sitting at one of the art tables, Trump got up and made her way to the Lego group.

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“Oh my god. Amazing. Wow. I love Legos,” Trump said as the children showed off their work.

Trump greeted the boy next to her, who had his head in his hand.

“Hi big boy,” she said.

The boy kept his hand firmly planted on his forehead.

“He’s shy,” one of the adults in the room explained.

“What are you building?” Trump asked.

The boy’s answer wasn’t audible to your pooler.

“I love your house,” Trump responded.

Trump asked a girl at the table her name and the child didn’t seem to respond.

“Is she shy normally?” Trump asked one of the staffers.

“No, not normally, just today,” the man said. “She was so excited to see you. Now you’re here.”

Trump complimented the girl’s hair accessory.

“I love your red bow,” Trump said.

The First Lady turned to another girl and asked about the slogan on her t-shirt.

“What is that? Eagle Pride?” Trump inquired.

“This is their school,” a staffer explained.

“Beautiful,” said Trump.

A young girl made a comment about the president out of your pooler’s earshot.

“Do you know him? Do you know who he is?” Trump asked.

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One of the children responded that they’d seen the president on television.

“He was dancing,” the boy said.

“Oh, he was dancing? Oh I need to see that,” said Trump. “Was he funny.”

“It’s on On Demand,” the boy replied.

“OK, let me check it out,” Trump said.

Trump next made her way to one of the art tables.

“So beautiful,” she said before handing out White House coloring books.

“Which color is your favorite?” she asked one of the girls at the table.

The girl said she prefers pink.

“We have a pink room at the White House,” Trump said before pointing to the girl’s book. “Will you make a pink room.”

Trump also gave the children crayons.

Your pooler was ushered out of the “PLAY ZONE” before Trump departed. We were brought to her next destination, a gymnasium where about 15 children stood at three different stations. There was a group playing with circuit boards, a flight simulator, and a paper plane kit.

Trump arrived soon after and greeted the children with the circuitry and simulator. Your pooler could not make out their conversations. She then went over to the children making paper planes and asked them to demonstrate their work.

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“Very good!” Trump declared as one of the planes flew through the air.

Another plane didn’t fare so well.

“That one crashed,” Trump said.

A third plane turned around mid flight and went behind the group.

“It’s like a boomerang,” said Trump.

Trump then tried throwing three of the planes herself with mixed results. Her last attempt went a good distance.

“Nice,” she said.

Trump then asked the children to demonstrate making a plane.

“Can you show me how you do it?” she asked.

After checking out the planes, Trump began to leave. As she departed, Trump shook hands with the kids at each table. She gave a high five to one of the children on the flight simulator. Trump waved goodbye and left the gymnasium at about 3:19 pm.

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