Donald Trump and Melania in Christmas tree ceremony

Donald Trump and Melania in Christmas tree ceremony

First lady Melania Trump dismissed the harsh critiques by the mainstream media of her red Christmas trees adorning the White House during a Wednesday event at Liberty University about today's opioid epidemic.

"This is a joyous time of year when we decorate the White House for the Christmas Season", the first lady said in a statement. The first lady's "Be Best" campaign focuses on her anti-bullying and anti-drug use initiative, promoting children's well-being.

"It's the 21st century, and everybody has different tastes", she said.

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But it was the 40 drooping bright red topiary trees lining the east colonnade that divided opinion.

She was also asked whether she had time to "make a casserole or something", and Melania answered, "Not really".

"In real life they look even more handsome, and you are all very welcome to visit the White House - the 'people's house, '" she said. "In real life, they look even more attractive".

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Official White House video released Monday shows Melania walking through the mansion's spacious rooms and hallways, admiring the festive, if somewhat confusing, decor.

Fitting this year's decor theme "American Treasures", the one-minute video shows Trump clad in all-black strolling through an ominous sea of pointed, blood-red cone-shaped trees, touching various ornaments displaying miniature US landmarks, and looking at blue-and-gold trees. And what does the media - I'm telling you, I can't believe this - what are they hung up on with the first lady right now? I have also learned that addiction is a disease, and like any illness, people need and deserve treatment.

But the event was aimed mostly at discussing the United States opioid epidemic and she said she had taught her son "what is right, what is wrong".

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