Trump hosts congressional picnic

President Trump is hosting members of Congress at the White House for the annual congressional picnic on Friday, amid escalating tensions with Iran. The picnic marks the first time Mr. Trump makes an appearance at the White House since he pulled back on a strike against Iran. 

The president said on Twitter and in an interview with NBC News’ Chuck Todd that he backed off on the strike after learning the possible human toll of roughly 150 people. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters Friday the Trump administration did not alert her to the planned — and then aborted — strike. 

The congressional picnic is an annual affair, where members of Congress and their families mingle. This year’s theme is Summer Solstice, as it falls on the first day of summer and longest day of the year. Mr. Trump is expected to make brief remarks. 

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The White House says there will be lawn games, festival vendors, a popcorn cart, a candy station, and a ferris wheel. The menu, prepped by White House Executive Chef Cristeta Comerford, includes lemon chicken, grilled plank salmon, charcoal grilled rib eye steak, and Baja shrimp tacos, not to mention lots of sides. 

“My husband and I are looking forward to tomorrow’s Congressional Picnic,” First Lady Melania Trump said in a statement. “It’s an opportunity for elected officials to put aside differences and come together as a community.”

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