New press secretary reads Trump fan mail at press briefing

Straight propaganda.

CREDIT: AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais
CREDIT: AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

New White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders began Wednesday’s press briefing with a new wrinkle—a reading of Trump fan mail meant to “remind us a little bit more often about some of the forgotten men, women, and children that we are here to serve and that the president is fighting for.”

The letter Sanders read on Wednesday was written by a 9-year-old named Dylan. According to Sanders, Dylan wrote to Trump to say, “You’re my favorite president. I like you so much that I had a birthday about you. My cake was the shape of your hat.”

Sanders proceeded to spend a bit of time answering some questions Dylan included in his letter, including one about Trump’s age, another about the size of the White House, and a third inquiring about how much money Trump has, which Sanders answered by saying, “I’m not sure, but I know it’s a lot.” (The question about Trump’s income is a good one, given the president’s steadfast refusal to release his tax returns.)

Sanders indicated that reading fan mail will become a semi-regular part of White House press briefings going forward. As Olivia Nuzzi of New York Magazine noted, this represents a departure from the historic purpose of White House press briefings, which is to inform the public about what the administration is doing and answer questions about its positions.

Dylan’s letter was later published on Twitter by NPR White House correspondent Tamara Keith.

While Sanders was willing to read Dylan’s letter, she was unwilling to clarify Trump’s ban on transgender people serving in the military that he abruptly announced on Twitter earlier Wednesday, going as far as to threaten to end the briefing if reporters didn’t stop asking her about it.

During a White House event with the American Legion Boys and Girls Nation immediately after the briefing, Trump was also unwilling to answer questions about the transgender service member ban, calling a reporter who asked him about it “very rude.”

Though the White House had been greatly curtailing on-camera briefings during the final weeks of Sean Spicer’s tenure as press secretary, new White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci indicated they will happen more often under his watch.

The White House’s decision to try and score points off a child’s letter comes less than 48 hours after Trump delivered stunningly political speech to tens of thousands of 11-to-18-year-olds at the National Scout Jamboree in West Virginia.


President Obama reportedly read 10 letters or emails from citizens each night, and personally replied to some of them. They were not, however, read at press briefings.