Lt. Col. Brandon Westling, a U.S. Air Force military aide to Joe Biden, wore the nuclear codes on the president’s trip to Camp David, then dressed up as an Easter bunny
Lt. Col. Brandon Westling, a US Air Force military aide to Joe Biden, had a pretty busy vacation weekend, with a set of dueling tasks that blew him up.
Westling, who is assigned to the White House military office, carried the nuclear codes on the president’s trip to Camp David on Friday, then played the masked Easter Bunny on the south portico balcony on Monday.
The United States Air Force Academy graduate wore the 45-lb. briefcase known as “the football” on Marine One on Friday when Joe and Jill Biden went to spend Easter weekend at Camp David.
The briefcase contains the President’s nuclear codes and travels with the Commander-in-Chief wherever he goes. The briefcase allows the president to authorize the use of the country’s nuclear weapons at any time.
Westling then played the Easter Bunny on Monday when the Bidens appeared on the South Portico balcony to mark the holiday, according to the White House.
He donned a brown mask over his nose and mustache as he joined the first couple for President Biden’s Easter remarks.
There were at least two assistants who donned bunny outfits for the White House Easter celebrations on Monday.
Lt. Col. Brandon Westling, a U.S. Air Force military aide to Joe Biden, played the Easter Bunny on Monday, appearing with Joe and Jill Biden on the South Portico balcony
Lt. Col. Brandon Westling (left) also carried nuclear ‘football’ to Marine One on Friday when the Bidens left for Camp David for the holiday weekend
Jill Biden removed a flower from those around the balcony and gave it to Westling
After the president’s speech, Westling, in his bunny costume, stepped between the first couple and joined them to greet the cameras.
Jill Biden picked a tulip from the balcony railing and handed it to her.
The White House military office provides a range of services, including military support for White House functions, including food service, presidential transportation, medical support and emergency medical services, and service reception.
Among the many tasks, a military assistant serves the president at his meals and carries the Commander-in-Chief’s “go bag” – a kit containing all the personal items the president may need on his travels.
The office manages Marine One and Air Force One. He is also in charge of the White House Communications Agency, the Presidential Airlift Group, the White House Medical Unit and Camp David.
Westling was one of two rabbits spotted at the White House on Monday, the day traditionally marked by the White House’s annual Easter egg roll. This year’s event has been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
A female bunny ran around the West Wing to deliver treats to staff and media – even taking the podium at Jen Psaki’s daily press briefing.
“We have a special guest,” Psaki announced as the Easter Bunny joined the briefing.
The bunny distributed Easter eggs and commemorative chocolates to the press.
She then took her head off and revealed herself to be the Meghan Hays press secretary.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki watches the female Easter Bunny arrive at her press briefing to distribute chocolates and memorial eggs. She was the second assistant in a wandering bunny outfit in the West Wing on Monday
She stood on the podium during a visit to the James Brady press room
The bunny then took off her head and was revealed to be Meghan Hays press secretary
White House staff tweeted photos of the second bunny placing Easter-themed cookies in the Oval Office and receiving carrots for lunch.
The rabbit in question turned out to be Meghan Hays, the director of Message Planning for the White House.
“Do they mean when they say ‘other duties as assigned’? ! Great to stop at the @PressSec briefing today. Happy Easter ! She tweeted with a photo of herself, bunny head in hand.
In addition, the bunny costume in question was different from that worn by Sean Spicer during the administration of George W. Bush. When Spicer became White House press secretary, social media was inundated with photos of him in a bunny costume.
There are two bunny costumes, the White House noted. Spicer wore a different costume than the bunny who visited the Brady press conference room today. There are indeed longer eyelashes on the rabbit that visited the briefing room today.
Trump’s first press secretary Sean Spicer wore the White House Easter bunny costume in 2008