Donald Trump’s White House is so flush with military brass that a naval commander suited up Monday as the Easter Bunny on the South Lawn.
The president’s chief of staff and Pentagon secretary are both retired Marine Corps generals. His choice to run the Veterans Affairs Department is a rear admiral who serves as the president’s personal physician.
Add to that martial menagerie Commander Richard I. Lawlor, who serves as naval aide to the president.
The White House Press Office said following Monday’s 140th annual Easter Egg Roll that it was Lawlor inside a bunny costume next to the president and first lady on the Truman Balcony.
President Donald Trump raised the Easter Bunny’s arm as they appeared together Monday on the White House’s Truman Balcony as the annual White House Easter Egg Roll was held below on the South Lawn
Inside the bunny suit was U.S. Navy Commander Richard Lawlor, the president’s naval aide, the White House confirmed after the event
Lawlor, alias ‘Commander Bun-Bun,’ posed for photos with a pair of unnamed helper rabbits
Lawlor (center-left, in white dress uniform) was often called on during the Obama administration to read Medal of Honor citations in ceremonies like this one honoring retired Army Lt. Col. Charles Kettles
Along with a pair of assistants in shorter getups, Lawlor also posed gamely for photos on the White House grounds.
As Trump’s naval aide, Lawlor is sometimes called on to read citations for Medal Of Honor and Medal of Freedom recipients as presidents present them, a duty he performed several times for President Barack Obama.
The Obama White House didn’t disclose the secret identities of its annual leporine actors, and the Trump administration kept last year’s a secret.
But Lawlor wasn’t the first Navy man to draw the short carrot. Former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer famously donned the hare-brained outfit in 2008 during the final year of the George W. Bush presidency.
Another Navy man, former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, jumped into the iconic bunny suit during the Goerge W. Bush administration, when he worked for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (pictured here with costume maker Jonn Schenz)
Spicer wore the steaming-hot costume – and a lace doily – as he posed with then-President Bush in 2008
Lawlor, in full Easter regalia (minus his vest), put on his shocked face as Trump sang his own praises about Pentagon funding on Monday
Just before the 2017 Easter Egg Roll, Trump’s famously combative then-spokesman was the subject of good-natured ribbing when a picture of him in the bunny suit – with the costume designer holding the head – surfaced online.
Spicer tweeted that the shot took him back to ‘the good ole days — what I would give to hide in a bunny costume again.’
He told Politico at the time that the costume ‘gets very hot. Each bunny gets a handler who guides them around the South Lawn. My handler for the event was my wife, Rebecca, who has been keeping me in line for years.’