Children attending a White House-sponsored Halloween event at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, a building across the street from the White House which holds the offices of various members of the president’s staff, were given paper bricks bearing their name and told to “build the wall,” Yahoo News reports.
On October 25, children of employees of the Trump administration and various affiliated agencies were invited to attend an office Halloween party, of sorts, at the building. Children dressed in popular Halloween costumes, such as Spider-Man or Elsa from Frozen, attended the party and did typical Halloween-party things, such as gather candy and fly paper airplanes.
Decorating the walls of the august building were various non-partisan political displays, all intended to be interactive and inspiring, and all intended to adhere to the event’s theme: “When I grow up I want to be…”
Vice President Mike Pence’s office, for example, put up a display centered around airplanes, and kids folded and flew paper airplanes, according to an unidentified Pence spokesperson.
“That’s what the VP came to. He came to our ceremonial office,” said the spokesperson.
However, one particular display rubbed at least one adult the wrong way. In the display, children were given personalized paper “bricks” bearing their names, which they were then instructed to attach to a display representing a brick wall. Nearby, hanging on hooks, was construction-worker gear and a sign reading “Trump’s Crew.” Children were told to “build the wall.”
Near the brick wall display was a sign that read “America First,” a slogan oft used by the Trump administration, and which previously had been used by the Ku Klux Klan (KKK).
An adult in attendance at the party, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they fear professional retaliation, said they were “horrified.”
As of this writing, the White House has not commented on the display. As for Mike Pence, who was in the building at the time, his spokesperson says that he didn’t leave the confines of his office, which is on the second floor of the building, during the event. Asked if the Vice President thought the display was appropriate, the spokesperson said that he (the spokesperson) wasn’t aware of it.
Over at the White House proper, on the following Monday, the White House hosted its annual White House trick-or-treat event, according to The Hill, wherein Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump handed out candy. As of this writing, there are no reports of partisan displays or events taking place at the party.