Trump marks Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, holding her son George and standing next to her son Huck, speaks during a briefing at the White House in Washington, Thursday, April 25, 2019. Children of journalists and White House staff were invited to attend the briefing and ask Sanders questions. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)Ava and Evelyn Cook — seen with black bows in their hair — try out their chops as White House correspondents during Take our Daughters and Sons To Work Day at the White House.White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders holding her children Huck Sanders, with eye glasses, and George Sanders, conducts a briefing for children of journalists and White House staff in the Brady press briefing room at the White House in Washington, Thursday, April 25, 2019, to commemorate Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)Vice President Mike Pence, left, joins White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, in pink, during a briefing at the White House in Washington, Thursday, April 25, 2019, with children of White House staff and journalists. The briefing was part of activities for Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day at the White House. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)President Donald Trump greets children after speaking to them on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Thursday, April 25, 2019, as part of the activities for Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day at the White House. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

WASHINGTON — Press Secretary Sarah Sanders held an “off-the-record” briefing and Vice President Mike Pence popped in to take a few queries in the briefing room Thursday morning as the White House celebrated Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day.

Toward the end of the day, President Donald Trump left the Oval Office to speak to the children of White House staffers and the White House Press Corps from the South Lawn.

“It’s a very special day, officially called ‘Take Our Daughters and Our Sons to Work Day,’ right? That’s the politically correct term, and we always have to be politically correct, right?” Trump joked. “I even love the media today, I see these beautiful children, products of the media, and I actually like you much more than your parents.”

Trump also schooled the children: “Never take drugs, don’t drink alcohol, don’t smoke, enjoy your life. You don’t need it. It causes a lot of problems. If you learn one thing. I didn’t come up here to say that but I say it all the time to my kids.”

It was an event-packed day for future politicos and journalists who visited the East Room, met Secret Service agents and were appointed junior rangers of the National Park Service. They left with souvenirs — their White House day passes, trading cards of Secret Service dogs and a chance to tell their classmates that they traded words with the president of the United States on the South Lawn of the White House.

While the briefing was advertised as off-the-record, the White House and UPI posted photos of the event.

Richmond, Virginia resident Evelyn Cook, 7, told a Review-Journal reporter (who is a cousin of her grandparents) that her favorite part of the day was going inside the White House.

Her sister, Ava, 10, said that she asked Pence which place on the planet he hasn’t visited but would like to. Pence, she recalled, said he traveled so much that he could not think of such a place.

By the end of her first briefing in more than a month, Sanders’ three children — Scarlet, Huck and George – had joined their mother on the podium as her father, former Gov. Mike Huckabee, looked on. As Sanders wrapped up the event, NPR’s Tamara Keith tweeted, a reporter shouted, “Sarah, when will you brief real reporters?”

Debra J. Saunders at or. Follow on Twitter.