President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence made an unannounced visit to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington DC on Monday in recognition of the holiday honoring the civil rights leader.
Trump and Pence placed a wreath at the memorial during their brief visit, which occurred just after 11 a.m.
“It’s a great day. A beautiful day. Thank you for being here. Appreciate it,” Trump told reporters at the memorial, according to CNN.
He and Pence stood by the statue for only a minute or two, Reuters White House correspondent Jeff Mason said on Twitter.
The visit was unexpected because as of Sunday night the White House reported that Trump’s public schedule for MLK Day was empty.
Last year, Trump spent Martin Luther King Jr. Day golfing at the Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Earlier on Monday Trump posted a statement about Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Twitter.
“Today we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 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,” he said, linking to a longer statement on the White House’s website.
Trump’s eldest daughter Ivanka appeared to have also visited the memorial, as she tweeted a photo later Monday afternoon of who appeared to be her eldest son standing in front of the statue.
The MLK Jr. Memorial in Washington is overseen by the National Park Service, which has been left unfunded during the 31-day government shutdown.
Trump did not respond to questions about the shutdown during the short visit to the memorial, according to the Associated Press.