President Donald Trump paid a visit to Mount Vernon last year with French President Emmanuel Macron, and according to new details relayed by associates to Politico, the experience was “truly bizarre.”
Mount Vernon president and CEO Doug Bradburn, who led the tour, according to Politico, has told several people that the Macrons were far more knowledgeable about the history of Washington’s compound than Trump seemed to be.
On the tour, Trump reportedly learned about the first US president’s real estate empire. But three sources briefed on the exchange told Politico that Trump didn’t seem too impressed.
“If he was smart, he would’ve put his name on it,” Trump said of Mount Vernon. “You’ve got to put your name on stuff or no one remembers you.”
Bradburn reminded Trump that Washington had succeeded in getting the nation’s capital named after him. Trump reportedly replied that that was a good point and laughed, according to the publication.
Washington’s real estate empire made him one of the wealthiest Americans of his time, but Trump asked whether the first US president was “really rich.”
When the guide spoke about Washington’s wealth and real estate dealings, “that is what Trump was really the most excited about,” a person familiar with the tour told Politico.
When shown the bed where Washington died from a throat infection, Trump reportedly felt the bedpost and said, it was “a good bed to die in,” three people briefed on the event told Politico.
A spokesperson for Mount Vernon declined to comment on the article.
“Mount Vernon does not provide details about high-profile visits outside of the organization’s public statements,” the spokesperson said.
In a statement issued Wednesday afternoon, a spokesperson for the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association said it was breaking traditional protocol of not commenting on high-profile visits because the association was “concerned that the third-party accounts of the Trump-Macron visit released by several media outlets … do not correctly reflect the events that transpired nearly a year ago.”
“During the tour, all parties were interested and engaged in the story of George Washington and his beloved home. Conversations touched on topics like business dealings, real estate, and related matters that were of relevance and interest to the touring parties, and questions were asked by both leaders with curiosity and respect,” the statement said.
The White House did not immediately respond to a CNN request for comment.
CNN’s Betsy Klein, Kate Bennett and Dugald McConnell contributed to this report.