President Donald Trump made a brief unannounced stop at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Monday morning as the country honors the civil rights icon.
Vice President Mike Pence accompanied Trump to the memorial and gazed on adoringly as the president spoke.
“Good morning, everybody,” Trump said after he laid a wreath. “It’s a great day. It’s a beautiful day. And thank you for being here. Appreciate it.”
Today, it was my great honor to visit the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial with @VP Mike Pence, in honor of #MLKDay https://t.co/YsDEA3kygd— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1548092765.0
The visit lasted approximately two minutes. Trump did not mention King or King's legacy.
@realDonaldTrump @VP #TwoMinuteDonald— Robert Johnson (@Robert Johnson)1548095826.0
@realDonaldTrump @VP Trump's "sincerity" is on full display as he visits the MLK Jr. Memorial with two other white… https://t.co/zk67tj7clF— (((DeanObeidallah))) (@(((DeanObeidallah))))1548095270.0
@jejharrington I became emotional when I heard Trump's words about MLK! Oh yeah, he didn't say anything about MLK...— Michael S. Anderson (@Michael S. Anderson)1548091159.0
@jejharrington You know, if he was to speak any longer, it would have been all about him and the wall...— Dec Child (@Dec Child)1548091898.0
Following the visit, Trump wrote a short tribute to King on Twitter.
"Today," Trump wrote, "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. #MLKDay"
Today we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for standing up for the self-evident truth Americans hold so dear, t… https://t.co/X3zoqSPvOo— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1548085149.0
The tweet was met with ferocious jeering.
Trump's candidacy and presidency have inflamed racial tensions like we have not seen in decades.
@realDonaldTrump They why are you obsessed with being so frigging racist?— God (@God)1548086311.0
@realDonaldTrump I see you visited the MLK Memorial. This is the pinnacle of hypocrisy because you espouse policies… https://t.co/I8ghYHTOUZ— Jeffrey Guterman (@Jeffrey Guterman)1548087399.0
@realDonaldTrump You are the antithesis of #MLK.— Jeffrey Guterman (@Jeffrey Guterman)1548085264.0
@realDonaldTrump The policies of tRump are diametrically opposed to the principles espoused by Martin Luther King, Jr. #MLK #MLKDay— Jeffrey Guterman (@Jeffrey Guterman)1548085159.0
Did Trump really write that tweet? Some are skeptical.
@realDonaldTrump Bless the intern who wrote this tweet— patriot eel (@patriot eel)1548085223.0
@realDonaldTrump There is NO WAY Trump wrote this— Dee Poirier (@Dee Poirier)1548085239.0
@realDonaldTrump We all know you didn't write that!!— Kathy Curley (@Kathy Curley)1548085341.0
@realDonaldTrump Glad someone on your staff slipped this in to check the MLK box.— Barack Obama ____________________________🇺🇸Fan (@Barack Obama ____________________________🇺🇸Fan)1548087912.0
@realDonaldTrump Lol you didn't write and you don't believe it either. #RESIGN— MadDemMom (@MadDemMom)1548093527.0
Trump's comments about immigrants - whom he has derided as "rapists and criminals" - are fresh in the country's memory, as are his false claims that refugees are mounting an "invasion" of the United States through the southern border.
@realDonaldTrump This is so fake. The entire MAGA movement is about white nationalism.— Adam Best (@Adam Best)1548086117.0
And then there was the march on Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017, when a radicalized white supremacist rammed his car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing Heather Heyer.
Trump's response was to say there were "very decent people" on "both sides."
@realDonaldTrump @VP There are No "Very Fine” Nazis! #MLKDay https://t.co/bl0ElDTABZ— Ryan Hill (@Ryan Hill)1548093860.0
Trump described himself last October as a "nationalist," a term synonymous with racism.
@realDonaldTrump You're a self-proclaimed "nationalist." You defend and enable white supremacists and neo-Nazis. Yo… https://t.co/KybTREekzd— Andy Ostroy (@Andy Ostroy)1548088775.0
Last year, The president faced flak for traveling to Mar-a-Lago, his private golf resort in Florida, instead of continuing the presidential tradition of volunteering and touring other monuments.
@jeffmason1 @realDonaldTrump @VP This is a photo op and not a great one. Do you recall the Obamas each year? https://t.co/Nnl8PM4zXu— Alison Berkowitz (@Alison Berkowitz)1548087774.0
Given Trump's history of racially-charged remarks about people of color, many feel his presence is a disservice to MLK's memory.
@realDonaldTrump @VP Happy MLK Day! He fought to reject leaders like this! #MLKDay https://t.co/8cP8R4Ps44— Ryan Hill (@Ryan Hill)1548093035.0
@jeffmason1 @Acosta @realDonaldTrump @VP Let us give thanks that neither men spoke. Credit where credit is due.— Sarah Zhou (@Sarah Zhou)1548087933.0
@jeffmason1 @JakeSherman @realDonaldTrump @VP If ever there were two people who need to take the time to read and r… https://t.co/zaAVFgcMmx— Whitney Edwards, M.D (@Whitney Edwards, M.D)1548087929.0
Gotta get that photo opp though.
@jeffmason1 @JoyAnnReid @realDonaldTrump @VP Called: #PhotoOp (I was there)— Junji Tatsuno (@Junji Tatsuno)1548087903.0
@jeffmason1 @kaitlancollins @realDonaldTrump @VP Yep. Check that box. Photo op on MLK Day. Now no one can say he di… https://t.co/yi0e267KF0— wendy (@wendy)1548088408.0
The president is damned if he does and damned if he does not - by his own doing.