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  National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony  CSPAN  December 2, 2017 9:37pm-9:51pm EST

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melania: thank you for helping everyone in the country. thank you for everything you do. beautiful job. >> dear veterans, thank you for serving our country my parents -- [inaudible] >> do you want to read yours? do you want to read it? >> dear troops, merry christmas. it's ok if you're not celebrating with your family this year. i think you'll still have a great time. if you are, that's even better. they'll be very happy to see you. thank you for all your help and service. have a very merry christmas. >> help beautiful. .- how beautiful >> on thursday, the president and first lady attended the traditional lighting of the christmas tree and presidents park south of the white house.
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here is a portion of the event. ♪ >> mr. president and mrs. trump, merry christmas and happy holidays. trump: i just wanted to thank you very much, kathy lee, and we are here at presidents park. a merryo wish everybody christmas and a happy new year. we have had unbelievable holidays and we are going to light a very beautiful treat and i will ask our first lady to get ready and maybe we will do a count down from 10. 4, 3, 2, one., 5,
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[applause] ♪ ["joy to the world" playing]
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>> please welcome the secretary of the interior, ryan zinke he -- ryan zinke he. -- ryan zinke. ♪ zinke: well, merry christmas america. in just a few weeks, it will be christmas. the nativity scene, presents under the tree, and milk and cookies percent that will be seen all across this great land. i'm honored to join you for another iconic image, this blessed holiday, the national christmas tree lighting. i would like to thank the national park service, our rangers, and the national park foundation for the dedication and their help in making tonight possible. [applause] zinke: thank you.
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as americans, we can all agree that our national parks and public land are our greatest treasures. we encourage all americans to visit a part, a battlefield, or just enjoy the great outdoors this season. joint our public lands and celebrate the holidays are traditions of that bring all american families together. as a retired navy seal commander, i would ask everyone to say a very special prayer for our troops and their families. for many military families, a loved one will not be at the table this year. some are deployed, some are fighting overseas, while others have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms. to these brave patriots, we are eternally rightful and we want to extend a special tribute to our gold star family's. now -- thank you. [applause] zinke: now i would like to
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ouroduce a man who loves parks, loves our military, and loves our country. the man who brought merry christmas back to our nations capital. [applause] and you did, sir. it is my high honor to introduce the president of the united states, donald j. trump, and our beautiful first lady. [applause] ♪
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[applause] president trump: thank you very much, everybody. this is a great honor and something very special. i want to thank for doing a fantastic job, secretary' zinke. today is a day i have been looking forward to all your long. it is one we have heard and speak about an dream about and now, as the president of the united states, it is my tremendous honor to finally push america and the world a very merry christmas. [applause] thank everyone who has come together here right in front of the white house, that beautiful, beautiful white house, and everybody watching from home to see the lighting of
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this incredible national christmas tree. , throughy a century good times and bad, every president has taken part in this wonderful tradition, first started by president coolidge. but i was informed tonight that the weather we have is the best it's been in 25 years. [applause] in fact i said, is it always like this? and the secretary said, it hasn't been like this for a long time. so we are very lucky. finally, in 1870, president ulysses s grant signed legislation making christmas a federal holiday. feel, we are doing that again. that's what happening. from the earliest days of our nation, americans have known christmas is a time for prayer and worship, or gratitude and
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goodwill, for peace and renewal. melania and i are full of joy at the start of this very blessed season. we are thrilled to think about people across the nation and all across the continental spirits are lifted by the miracle of christmas. for christians, this is a holy season, the celebration of the birth of our lord and james -- our lord and savior jesus christ. the christmas story begins two dozen years ago with a mother, a father, baby son, and the most extra gift of all, the gift of god's love for all of humanity. police, window that the birth of jesus christ -- whatever our beliefs, we know the birth of jesus christ forever changed the course of human history. there is hardly an aspect in our lives today that his life has not touched. law, andc, culture,
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every respect for the sacred dignity of every person everywhere in the world. year, atevery christmas time, we recognize that the real spirit of christmas is not what we have, it's about who we are, each one of us is a child of god. joy is the true source of this time of the year. that is what makes every christmas merry. and that is what we remember in today's beautiful ceremony, that we are called to serve one another, to love one another, and to pursue peace in our hearts and all throughout the world. and so tonight, i think the millions of americans that light our lives and brighton our wonderful communities. i think those who serve the
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needy during the season and throughout the year. i think our military men and women who are stationed around the world keeping us safe. enforcementank officers who protect the streets and our homeland. teachers, pastors, and all those religious and people that have taught us so much, for their leadership in our communities and our society. and especially tonight, i thank america's families. we are reminded more than ever that the family is the bedrock of american life. and so, this christmas we ask for god's forgiveness for our family, for our nation. and we pray that our country would be a place where every child has a home filled with love, a community rich with
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hope, and the nation blessed with faith. melania, myself, baron, all of my children, all of my grandchildren, they are here with us tonight. i want to thank you, god bless you, and god bless the united states of america. thank you very much. merry christmas. [applause] happy new year, thank you. [applause] >> on newsmakers, washington democratic congressman talks about the u.s. response to north korea's missile test. the impact of possible tax cuts on defense spending, and
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military readiness. 10:00 a.m. sunday at and 6:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. q&a,nday on c-span's cooper institutions senior fellow john cogan on the u.s. federal entitlement programs. >> entitlement programs stem from a basic human desire to help someone who is in need of assistance. all of us have it in us. for politicians, it is a little bit easier. it's summary else's money. but they still have that same as a desire that you and i do. they also have this desire to be reelected. once that entitlement is put in place, then the game has changed. interest groups form around protecting that entitlement, testing for more assistance. money starts flowing to politicians who protect those benefits and the game changes.
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it is that desire for reelection. >> john cogan on u.s. federal entitlement programs sunday night at 10:00 eastern on c-span's given day. -- c-span's two and a. a.q and >> john podesta offered his thoughts on the collection. this is about an hour and 10 minutes. you came to hear my friend, john podesta, who for decades now has been one of the leading medical figures -- political figures in the country. levelved at the highest in the clinton administration and event again in the obama administration as counselor in waswhite house and then he the head of president campaign