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Trump, Pence honor Martin Luther King Jr. Day with memorial visit

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Trump, Pence honor Martin Luther King Jr. Day with memorial visit
On Monday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence visit the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C. Photo by Erin Scott/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 20 (UPI) -- U.S. President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence made a surprise, unannounced trip to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on Martin Luther King Jr. Day to pay their respects to the federal holiday's namesake.

The pair was greeted by a mix of boos and cheers as they arrived at the memorial in the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on Monday afternoon, hours before Trump was to depart for Davos, Switzerland, to participate in the World Economic Forum.

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Both Trump and Pence stood at the base of the 30-foot-tall stone statue of Martin Luther King Jr. for a minute of silence with their heads bowed before heading back to the motorcade, smiling and waving to onlookers, some of whom booed while others chanted "U-S-A!"

Earlier Monday, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway told reporters that Trump agreed with much of what the late civil rights icon stood for and that if King were alive today she didn't think he would support impeaching the president.

A reporter asked how the president was to spend the federal holiday, to which Conway replied that Trump was preparing for Davos and that he "agrees with many of the things that Dr. Martin Luther King stood for and agreed with for many years, including unity and equality" and that Trump is not "the one" attempting to tear the country apart with an ongoing impeachment process.

Conway made the comments as the White House prepares for Trump's impeachment trial in the Senate after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sent it two articles of impeachment in connection to Trump threatening to withhold military aid from an ally country unless it investigates his political rival former vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden.

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"I've held my opinion on it for a very long time but when you see the articles of impeachment that came out, I don't think it was within Dr. King's vision to have Americans dragged through a process where the president is not going to be removed from office, is not being charged with bribery, extortion, high crimes or misdemeanors," she said.

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Trump also tweeted that Monday also marked three years since he was sworn into the office of the presidency, stating that it was "appropriate" that his anniversary fell on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which is observed on the third Monday in January.

"It was exactly three years ago today, January 20, 2017, that I was sworn into office," he said. "So appropriate that today is also MLK jr DAY. African-American unemployment is the LOWEST in the history of our Country, by far. Also, best Poverty, Youth and Employment numbers, ever. Great!"

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