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@SteveRudinABC7/Twitter

On Thursday evening, President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump joined the waiting crowd to light up the National Christmas Tree.

Trump spent the days leading up to the event promoting the tax reform bill currently before Congress, but he still took some time to remind everyone that America was saying “Merry Christmas” again:

The tree-lighting ceremony went off without a hitch, and President Trump used his time to deliver a very Christmasy message:

But some critics were quick to pounce on photos showing a number of empty seats at the National Mall:

What is not immediately clear in the photos, however, is when they were taken — even side-by-side photos of President Barack Obama's 2016 tree-lighting ceremony and Thursday's event didn't make things any clearer:

Actor Dean Cain, who attended the tree-lighting as part of a Hallmark Channel presentation, told Independent Journal Review he didn't notice a lot of empty seats.

“It was wonderful and positive, and there were crowds of people as far as I could see,” he said.

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