Taking part in the annual ritual, Trump counted down from 10 before his wife, Melania, pushed a button to set the tree aglow.
“Today’s a day that I’ve been looking very much forward to all year long,” said Trump. “And now, as the president of the United States, it’s my tremendous honor to finally wish America and the world a very merry Christmas.”
“I sort of feel we’re doing that again,” Trump said to an audience that included many of his family members.
The program, which will air Monday on the Hallmark Channel, was hosted by Kathie Lee Gifford and actor Dean Cain and featured performances by the Beach Boys, Jack Wagner, Wynonna Judd, Craig Campbell and others. It was a less high-profile lineup than last year, when the performers included Kelly Clarkson, Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood, Marc Anthony, Yolanda Adams, the Lumineers, James Taylor and Chance the Rapper.
This year marks the 95th annual National Christmas Tree Lighting. The tradition began in 1923 with President Calvin Coolidge and takes place in President’s Park, just south of the White House.