The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Trump jokes with Easter Egg Roll attendees, throws ‘Make America Great Again’ hat back into crowd

"We will be stronger and better and better as a nation than ever before," Trump said to the families gathered on the White House lawn. "We are right on track." (Video: The Washington Post, Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)
Placeholder while article actions load

Update: A different angle of the incident appears to show the man who originally handed President Trump the hat later catching it and saying, “Thank you” as people laughed.

The original post is below.

The White House is usually a serious place, where serious people meet to conduct serious business.

But during the annual Easter Egg Roll? Not so much.

The event, in which thousands visit the South Lawn of the White House and children attempt to roll hard-boiled eggs down a short racetrack, has become an opportunity for the executive mansion — and its most famous occupant — to relax a little bit. There are activities, music and the chance for future press secretaries to dress up as the Easter Bunny.

It's also a chance for the president to interact with regular Americans a little bit. President Trump walked the rope line at Monday's event, shaking hands, taking photos and signing memorabilia. Perhaps the most entertaining moment of his South Lawn excursion came when signing a red “Make America Great Again” hat proffered by a hand in the crowd.

Trump signs hat, throws it back into crowd at Easter Egg Roll (Video: The Washington Post)

Trump, using a thick Sharpie, put his signature on the bill of the cap, then looked up and lobbed it back into the crowd, with a smile, nowhere near the hand that had given it to him (presumably leaving the hat's owner to scramble as Trump looked on and the crowd laughed).

It was a lighthearted moment from a president who spent the weekend facing questions about international diplomacy (in addition to some time at his luxury resort Mar-a-Lago, and one of his Florida golf courses). And he's certainly not the first president to use the Easter Egg Roll as a getaway from the pressures of presidential life.

During Barack Obama's time in office, it seemed as though it was the first family's favorite day of the year. In 2012, Obama played pickup basketball and led players in doing push-ups on the White House basketball court.

President Barack Obama does push-ups while playing basketball during the 2012 White House Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn on Monday. (Video: CBS News)

And in 2016, at the Obamas' last Easter Egg Roll, the first couple pulled out a few dance moves.

Michelle Obama showed a White House crowd her attempt at the Nae Nae March 28. (Video: Reuters)

At the 1995 Easter Egg Roll, President Bill Clinton brandished a large jelly-bean carrot, telling kids in attendance to eat their real carrots later. And in 1989, President George H.W. Bush went down to the racetrack to get things started.

The Easter Egg Roll certainly isn't one of the White House's most consequential days. But it is one that gives us a whole lot of fun visuals.

Comedians Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon and others poked fun at President Trump's first Easter celebration at the White House. (Video: The Washington Post)