News World Meet Frank Giaccio, 11, who mows lawns and has just upstaged Donald Trump
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Meet Frank Giaccio, 11, who mows lawns and has just upstaged Donald Trump

Donald Trump shadows aspiring billionaire Frank "FX" Giaccio as he mows the White House lawn. EPA/Shawn Thew
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Before he dived into presidential politics, Donald Trump had a gift for promoting his business interests and attracting attention.

Well it looks like he has a mini-me with the same ambition to get rich and one day occupy the Oval Office.

Frank Giaccio, 11, who goes by the initials FX, also knows how to grab the limelight.

The budding entrepreneur wrote to the White House with an offer to mow the Rose Garden lawn, explaining that he is an experienced garden specialist who scores pocket money from the neighbours whose grass he clips.

For good measure, and because every good businessman knows to butter up potential clients, he declared it would be his “honour” to do the chore, adding a dash of soft soap for good measure by noting that he is in awe of Mr Trump’s business smarts.

The offer was accepted, and on Saturday the aspiring tycoon was so engrossed in his work he didn’t notice that Mr Trump had slipped out of the White House to see if the youngster was as good as his word.

When the boy finally realised he was being shadowed and paused, Mr Trump turned on some gushing words of his own.

“That’s the real future of the country right there,” he said. “We’re lucky.”

Then he kept right on pushing the mower in long, straight rows as Mr Trump walked alongside him.

FX, who lives in the Washington suburb of Falls Church, Virginia, also sent a menu of his garden-care services, which include weed-whacking. Impressed, Mr Trump accepted the mowing offer but passed on the whacking.

“My dad didn’t think I was going to meet the President at all — I was just going to mow the Rose Garden. But the President came by and said hi,” FX said afterward.

Mr Trump asked FX what he wanted to be when he grows up.

“A Navy Seal! Well, he’ll make it,” Mr Trump exclaimed, as he stood with FX and his father. “We’ll bring them into the Oval Office. Maybe he’ll be president.”

“It’s probably the biggest day of my life so far,” FX said afterward, explaining that his day was “jam-packed” with media interviews, watering plants, mowing the lawn and visiting the Oval Office with his dad.

“It was a lot bigger than I thought,” he said.

FX’s standard fee is $8 per lawn, but he patriotically decided to tackle the White House job free of charge.

For this job, FX donned safety glasses and blue ear plugs after borrowing a mower from the National Park Service, which normally takes care of White House maintenance.

He got to keep the White House-issued black gardening gloves as a souvenir.

Mr Trump later tweeted his thanks, adding that the National Park Service gave the mini-mower an A-plus for his work.

-with ABC/AP

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