On Aug. 2, as reporters lobbed questions about sanctions on Russia following its meddling in the 2016 election, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders took the time to read a letter to President Trump from Frank Giaccio, a 10-year-old from Falls Church, Va. Frank, a young entrepreneur, had a pitch for the dealmaker in chief: He wanted to mow the White House lawn.
“Even though I’m only 10, I’d like to show the nation what young people like me are ready for,” Sanders read. “I admire your background in business, and I’ve started my own.”
On Friday, the sixth-grader, now 11, got his wish: As Trump looked on, Giaccio donned safety goggles, earplugs and gardening gloves — then took one item off the White House landscapers’ to-do list.
“That’s the real future of the country right there — we’re lucky,” the president said. “Maybe he’ll be president someday.”
Greg Giaccio, Frank’s father, said Friday his son was awaiting a tour of the White House. After Frank started a lawn-mowing business, his father said, it just made sense to reach out to high-profile customers.
“You have this image that [presidents] are intimately involved with everything,” Giaccio said. “He started a business — obviously, Trump is in the news all the time. He said, ‘Maybe I’ll write him.’”
Giaccio, who works for the U.S. Office of Special Counsel — an agency with oversight over federal employees, not to be confused with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and the investigation into Russian interference with the 2016 election — declined to say who he supported in the race, citing the Hatch Act. But he said Frank, the oldest of four children, began supporting Trump early in the Republican primary debates.
Frank isn’t the only letter-writer in the family. “One of my younger kids wants to write NASA to get a trip to the moon,” Giaccio said.
Frank had previously written to President Barack Obama, Giaccio added, but only got a form letter in response.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 15, 2017
Trump tweeted a video that shows Frank at work behind a Honda mower with a steely-eyed stare before meeting Vice President Pence. Then he met Trump in the Oval Office.
“THANK YOU for doing a GREAT job this morning!” Trump said in the tweet, adding that the National Park Service gave the boy an “A+.”
After the mow, at the press secretary’s podium, a sweaty Frank wasn’t prepared to offer remarks.
“Let’s not make Frank have to do an impromptu press conference — unless you want to,” Sanders said to him.
However, Frank did make a few comments, saying he wished to thank his father, Sanders, Trump and “a couple of other people” for the lawn-mowing opportunity.