President Trump addressed a provision in the stimulus bill that gives $25 million to the Kennedy Center, a performing arts space in Washington, DC, named for the late President John F. Kennedy.
Trump said it was a provision from the Democrats that initially started at $35 million, but they negotiated to $25 million, saying he approved it because he is a “fan” of the facility.
“I approved that, it was 35 million, and we actually took off 10. But I’m a fan of that although I haven’t spent time there because I’m far too busy. I’d love to go there, evenings, but I’m too busy doing things because that’s more important for me than going there,” the President said.
The Kennedy Center, he said, “has suffered greatly because nobody can go there, it’s essentially closed.”
Trump also praised Democratic negotiators.
“And they do need some funding, and I said, look, that was a Democrat request, that was not my request, but you gotta give them something. It’s something that they wanted, you know, works that way. The Democrats have treated us fairly. I really believe we’ve had a very good back and forth. And I say that with respect to Chuck Schumer, I spoke to him a number of times, but you know, they had requests also. So that was a request,” Trump said.
Even though the funding is a “lousy soundbite,” Trump was resigned to it.
“That’s not a good soundbite but that’s the way life works. With that being said, the Kennedy Center, they do a beautiful job, an incredible job, David Rubenstein does a fantastic job, he’s very much involved and puts up a lot of money and does things a lot of people wouldn’t be able to do. But they’ve been essentially closed. They have tremendous deficits that are built up, I mean, this thing has been devastating to it. So I didn’t have problem with it but this was a request from the Democrats because of the fact that they have a facility that’s essentially closed,” he said, later adding that he’d “love” to go see Romeo and Juliet, but he can’t because it’s closed.
Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., lambasted funding for the arts included in the bill last night, tweeting, “Republicans want to save your job, Democrats want to save the Picassos.”