Lt. Col. Brandon Westling, a US Air Force military aide to Joe Biden, carried the nuclear codes during the president’s trip to Camp David and then dressed up as the Easter Bunny
Lt. Col. Brandon Westling, a US Air Force military aide to Joe Biden, had quite the holiday weekend, with a dueling set of duties that kept him hopping.
Westling, who is assigned to the White House Military Office, carried the nuclear codes on the president’s trip to Camp David on Friday and then played the masked Easter Bunny on the South Portico balcony on Monday.
The United States Air Force Academy graduate carried the 45-lb. briefcase known as ‘the football’ onto Marine One on Friday when Joe and Jill Biden left to spend the Easter weekend at Camp David.
The briefcase contains the president’s nuclear codes and travels with the commander-in-chief where ever 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 maroon face mask over his nose and whiskers as he joined the first couple for President Biden’s Easter remarks.
He was one least two aides who donned bunny outfits for the White House’s Easter celebrations on Monday.
Lt. Col. Brandon Westling, a US 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 the nuclear ‘football’ onto Marine One on Friday when the Bidens left for Camp David for the holiday weekend
Jill Biden pulled a flower from those surround the balcony and gave it to Westling
After the president spoke, Westling, in his bunny costume, stepped between the first couple and joined them in waving to the cameras.
Jill Biden picked a tulip off the balcony rail and handed it to him.
The White House military office offers an array of services, including military support for White House functions, including food service, Presidential transportation, medical support and emergency medical services, and hospitality service.
Among the many duties, a military aide serves the president his or her meals and carries the commander-in-chief’s ‘go bag’ – a kit with any personal items the president may need in his travels.
The office runs Marine One and Air Force One. It’s also in charge of the White House Communications Agency, Presidential Airlift Group, White House Medical Unit, and Camp David.
Westling was one of two bunnies spotted at the White House on Monday, the day traditionally marked by the annual White House Easter Egg Roll. This year’s event was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
A female bunny raced around the West Wing to deliver treats to staff and media alike – even taking the podium during Jen Psaki’s daily press briefing.
‘We have a special guest,’ Psaki announced as the Easter Bunny joined the briefing.
The bunny passed out commemorative Easter Eggs and chocolates to the press corps.
She later took off her head and revealed herself to be press aide Meghan Hays.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki looks on as the female Easter Bunny arrives at her press briefing to pass out chocolates and commemorative eggs. She was the second aide in a rabbit outfit roaming around the West Wing on Monday
She stood at the podium while visiting the James Brady Press Briefing Room
The female bunny later took off her head and revealed herself to be press aide Meghan Hays
White House staff tweeted pics of the second bunny placing Easter-themed cookies in the Oval Office and getting carrots for lunch.
The bunny in question revealed herself to be Meghan Hays, the director of Message Planning for the White House.
‘Is this what they mean when they say “other duties as assigned”?! So great to stop by @PressSec’s briefing today. Happy Easter!,’ she tweeted along with a pic of herself in custom, bunny head in hand.
Also, the bunny costume in question was different than the one worn by Sean Spicer during the George W. Bush administration. When Spicer became White House press secretary, social media was flooded with pics of him in the bunny costume.
There are two bunny costumes, the White House noted. Spicer wore a different suit than the bunny who visited the Brady Press Briefing Room today. There are indeed longer lashes on the bunny who visited the Briefing Room today.
Trump’s first press secretary Sean Spicer wore the White House Easter Bunny costume back in 2008