President Donald Trump’s fourth White House press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, made her podium debut yesterday and promised reporters that she would never lie. McEnany continued with the press conference, where she proceeded to lie.
It was Associated Press reporter Jill Colvin who critically asked McEnany if she pledged never to lie while addressing the media.
“I will never lie to you,” McEnany responded. “You have my word on that.”
"I will never lie to you. You have my word on that." — Kayleigh McEnany during her first press briefing as press secretary (bookmark this) pic.twitter.com/PqUhRAWiun
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 1, 2020
McEnany’s premiere at the podium included a litany of untruths and/or false claims, including about the protests in Michigan, claims against China, and the origins of COVID-19, Michael Flynn, and the Mueller investigation.
When asked about Vice President Mike Pence’s recent comments in which he believes Flynn may have unintentionally misled him, McEnany responded, “I’ve seen a whole lot of scant information about Michael Flynn, when there was a whole lot of speculation about ‘Russia, Russia, Russia’ culminating in $40 million of taxpayer money being lost and the complete and total exoneration of President Trump.”
However, Mueller’s investigative report said he did not wholly exonerate Trump, and the Justice Department said the investigation cost $32 million.
Another reporter asked McEnany why Trump would call the armed militia protesters in Michigan “very good people.” She said, “The president was referencing generally that in this country, you have a First Amendment right to protest.” But his tweet clearly did not reference anything about the First Amendment.
The Governor of Michigan should give a little, and put out the fire. These are very good people, but they are angry. They want their lives back again, safely! See them, talk to them, make a deal.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 1, 2020
She was also asked about the origins of COVID-19, including a report in the New York Times which alleges that Trump administration officials want to push a theory that COVID-19 originated in a Wuhan lab, an approach that the president speculated about himself. McEnany responded by saying, “I can assure you that no one is pressing the intelligence community to come to a determination.”
McEnany’s debut was the first White House press briefing in more than a year. In April, McEnany replaced Stephanie Grisham, who never addressed reporters with an official White House briefing during her 281 days on the job. Prior to Grisham was Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who held her post for a year and 340 days. Trump’s first press secretary was Sean Spicer, who said in 2017 that he never “knowingly” lied to the media or the public.
Trump has yet to comment on McEnany’s first briefing.
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