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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump treated the children of White House journalists to an Oval Office visit Thursday but left their parents, many of whom he criticizes, outside looking in through the windows.

“Your parents are being so nice right now. I can’t believe it,” said Trump, who regularly rails against what he calls the “fake news” media. He did so earlier Thursday during a telephone interview with “Fox & Friends.”

The president told the group of boys and girls who accompanied their journalist parents to the White House on Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day that their mothers and fathers were just being nice because “they don’t want to be embarrassed in front of all of you.”

Trump autographed caps and commemorative passes worn by the children before taking them into the Oval Office. He had asked the kids whether they wanted their parents in or out of the Oval Office. “Out!” they exclaimed in unison, and so the grown-ups were left to huddle around and peep through the few available windows.

In the morning, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders answered questions during a mock press briefing about Trump’s favorite animal and whether he likes candy.

Sanders revealed a bit of news when she announced that Trump will visit the United Kingdom on July 13 to meet with British Prime Minister Theresa May.

She said Trump’s favorite animal is probably an elephant, the symbol of the Republican Party. She said his favorite candy is Starbursts, specifically the pink and red ones.

The questions Sanders got weren’t all softballs, though. Other kids asked about Dr. Ronny Jackson’s decision Thursday to withdraw from consideration to become Veterans Affairs secretary and why Trump fired James Comey from his job as FBI director.

Sanders stayed on message, replying that Comey “did some things that weren’t really very nice.”


Associated Press writer Ken Thomas contributed to this report.


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