White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany went nuclear in defense of President Donald Trump this week amid claims that he had failed to denounce white supremacy at Tuesday night’s presidential debate.
The president’s press secretary was forced to repeatedly address the topic at a chaotic press briefing Thursday, Axios reported.
McEnany spars with reporters
McEnany observed numerous times throughout the briefing that Trump had denounced white supremacy at the debate that started the controversy — and many times beforehand. But various reporters kept pressing the same question over and over: would Trump denounce white supremacy?
The presser started off on a combative note when Fox News’ John Roberts asked McEnany for a “definitive” statement, prompting McEnany to recite a series of examples throughout Trump’s presidency when he had denounced white supremacy, as Breitbart reported. Roberts kept pressing, even as she moved on to the next reporter.
“His record on this is unmistakable, and it’s shameful that the media refuses to cover it,” McEnany said of Trump, according to Fox.
“The President specifically, verbatim, was asked yesterday, ‘White supremacy, do you denounce them?’ To which he responded, ‘I have always denounced any form of that.’ Those are the facts,” McEnany said. “And, CNN, I know that truth is of no moment to your network, but those are the facts.”
A chaotic news conference
At moments, the presser devolved into a confusion of crosstalk that recalled Tuesday night’s chaotic debate, Fox noted. McEnany, clearly losing her patience, made the ironic observation that reporters were doing what they had accused Trump of doing in the debate with their interruptions.
“It’s quite funny that the media goes haywire about interrupting in the debates and then chooses to pursue that very same tactic themselves. This is a White House briefing, you ask a question and you give me time to answer,” she opined.
President Trump sparked controversy Tuesday night by telling the Proud Boys, a right-wing group, to “stand back and stand by.” The comment became the media’s major takeaway from the debate, and they kept hammering it all week.
In point of fact, Trump did agree to disavow white supremacy at the debate, saying, “Sure, I’m willing to do that.” He continued to disavow white supremacy on Wednesday and Thursday, but the hits kept coming.
“I’ve said it many times, and let me be clear again: I condemn the [Ku Klux Klan]. I condemn all white supremacists. I condemn the Proud Boys,” Trump told Sean Hannity, according to the New York Post. “I don’t know much about the Proud Boys, almost nothing. But I condemn that.”