A blimp depicting Donald Trump as an orange, nappy-clad baby holding a mobile phone is not offensive, an organiser of the stunt has said.
The 20ft inflatable, which first appeared in London in July, has been floated above Los Angeles to mark the beginning of a political convention.
Critics argued it was insulting to Mr Trump and it prompted the president to say it made him feel “unwelcome” when protesters unleashed it during his visit to the UK.
As the blimp was inflated and floated above the skies outside the Los Angeles Convention Centre on Friday, Simon Sidi, the founder of Politicon, said the stunt is not offensive.
He told the Press Association: “We’re pretty excited they brought the balloon because it’s a major part of the political landscape and I think not having baby Trump here at Politicon would be an omission.
“It’s a balloon. If you are offended by a balloon I don’t know what to say. We’re not producing the balloon, we didn’t make the balloon, we’re just giving it a platform, the same as we give everyone a platform who comes to Politicon.”
Mr Sidi said guests from across the political spectrum will appear over the weekend, including conservatives Ann Coulter and Tucker Carlson as well as Stormy Daniels’ lawyer Michael Avenatti and comedian Eddie Izzard.
Mr Sidi added: “They are all part of the political landscape, Politcon is an entertainment event for people to enjoy politics – for once.
“People who come and see it [the balloon], whether they like it or they don’t like it – if they think it’s insulting, that’s great, if they don’t think it’s insulting, that’s great too.”
The activists behind the balloon’s creation said there is a serious message behind the inflatable.
Speaking in July, Sheila Menon, who is part of a group who crowdfunded the balloon, said: “We know that behind the humour of this, the Trump baby represents a whole multitude of campaigns and issues.
“This isn’t just about mocking him.
“This is actually about drawing attention to his fascist policies, policies that he’s putting into place like nobody’s business since he’s been in power.
“Policies that are having very real impacts on real lives not just in the US but all over the world.”