Fri | Aug 18, 2017

Trump praises new African American museum during first visit

Published:Wednesday | February 22, 2017 | 2:00 AM

WASHINGTON (AP):

United States President Donald Trump denounced "bigotry, intolerance and hatred in all of its very ugly forms" during his first visit to the new Smithsonian black history museum yesterday.

Trump, in remarks after his tour, called the museum "truly great" and said that he would be back to see more of the 3,000 objects illustrating African-American history.

"I'm deeply proud that we now have a museum that honours the millions of African-American men and women who built our national heritage, especially when it comes to faith, culture and the unbreakable American spirit," said the president, flanked by museum officials and African-American politicians.

This was Trump's first visit to the new museum, which opened September 24 to great fanfare, including a dedication by then-President Barack Obama and attendance by former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture has become one of the most popular attractions in Washington, with museum officials saying Monday that the building has already had its millionth visitor.

 

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First Lady Melania Trump visited the museum last week with Sara Netanyahu, wife of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

"It has truly become a place of healing, reconciliation and celebration where people can embrace not only African-American history and culture, but how that layered history has shaped America's identity," Lonnie Bunch, the museum's director, said Monday.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said one of Trump's favourite exhibits was a shawl given to abolitionist Harriet Tubman by Queen Victoria.

"And the president was particularly pleased by the Muhammad Ali exhibit with the quote 'I shook up the world' prominently displayed," Spicer said.