The new White House Press Secretary began the first on-camera press briefing in weeks with a letter from a 9-year-old "fan"

By Maureen Lee Lenker
July 26, 2017 at 06:16 PM EDT

Incoming White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders brought some fan mail with her to the podium during Wednesday’s press briefing: a letter from a 9-year-old Trump fan named Dylan.

Starting by saying she wanted to “offer a little reminder of why we’re all here every day, which I imagine for most of us is because we love our country and want to make it better,” Sanders spoke of her distinction as the first mother to serve as White House press secretary.

Then, Sanders said, “To remind us a little bit more often about some of the forgotten men, women, and children that we’re here to serve and that the president is fighting for, we’re going to start the White House briefing every once in a while with a letter or an email that we may receive from some of those individuals.”

With that, she read aloud from the fan letter. “My name is Dylan Harbin, but everybody calls me Pickle,” Sanders read. “I’m nine years old, and 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.”

NPR White House Correspondent Tamara Keith shared a photograph of the letter on Twitter, noting that it was the full text of the letter that Sanders read during the briefing.

Sanders went on to read Dylan’s questions aloud and answer them: “‘How old are you?’ Dylan, President Trump is 71 years old. ‘How much money do you have?’ Dylan, I’m not sure, but I know it’s a lot. ‘I don’t know why people don’t like you.’ Me either, Dylan.”

The recitation of fan mail was met with mixed reviews from reporters. Olivia Nuzzi of New York tweeted, “This is not what the briefing is for. Like, this is just propaganda.” Some even posited that perhaps the letter was of dubious origins, prompting Hadas Gold of Politico to tweet, “What is wrong with people — let a kid write a letter!!”

While reactions ranged, express outraged or joked about the content of the letter — including whether Dylan’s question about how much money the President has was a call for Donald Trump to release his tax returns.

See a sampling of tweets below and watch the full press conference above.

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