Assuming the position of White House press secretary on April 7, Kayleigh McEnany had quite a 2020 with a slew of crises to attend to as the fifth woman and third mother to serve as a president’s chief spokesperson. And with a press corps filled with journalists hell-bent on spewing hatred at the Trump administration (instead of asking real, probing questions), McEnany faced a near-constant deluge of embarrassing circus acts and far-left screeds.
Whether it was telling CNN’s Jim Acosta to “work on [his] internal cohesion” or CBS’s Paula Reid that she hosts press briefings and not a cable news show, McEnany spared no one. After a busy 2018 with Sarah Sanders and a quiet 2019, the briefing room returned as a proverbial boxing ring.
Below is a top ten list of McEnany takedowns from her briefings, presented in chronological order.
Relying on her mountains of evidence (and a gigantic binder), McEnany was ready when CBS News Radio’s Steve Portnoy fretted about President Trump suggesting on Fox Business that, in Portnoy’s words, “people should be jailed” for what happened to Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn (Ret.).
Portnoy came off as befuddled and disturbed by this insinuation that anything untoward happened during the Trump-Russia probe, but McEnany replied that she was “really glad you asked because there hasn’t been a lot of journalistic curiosity on this front and I’m very glad that you asked this question.”
In the minutes that followed, McEnany ran through the history of Democratic intelligence scandals, starting with James Clapper lying to Congress years earlier about wiretapping and then the saga kickstarted by the Democrat-funded Steele dossier through the Mueller probe and reckless claims by House Democrats on cable news.
As part of the liberal media’s partisan prayers that hydroxychloroquine be seen as not only a failure but a cause of death for those that took it, McEnany demolished this fear-mongering by citing its past use for other medical conditions and emphasizing the need for Americans to consult their doctors before taking it while fighting COVID-19.
NBC’s Kristen Welker battled McEnany on behalf of her comrades, but McEnany dispensed with her by taking aim at CNN host Chris “Fredo” Cuomo for vehemently denouncing hydroxychloroquine despite the fact that he took a more-dangerous quinine while battling COVID-19 (and promoted by his New Agey wife).
In the first of five appearances on this list, Acosta presented himself as a champion of censorship as he bemoaned about the White House “trying to silence fact-checking” by criticizing Twitter’s double standard of fact-checking the President’s tweets but not doing so for leftist lies.
McEnany responded by stating the truth: “There’s no one that should be fact-checked more than the mainstream media that has been continually wrong about a number of things.”
She cited three failed Trump-Russia probe stories as examples of how the liberal media never learn from their mistakes, but Acosta hilariously countered with the false claim that journalists “make mistakes from time to time” in that “we own up to” and “correct those mistakes.”
McEnany returned fire: “Not always. I have many that you guys haven’t owned up to I could get to.”
Acosta was triggered, continuing to filibuster and thus took precious time away from colleagues who don’t want to hog the cameras.
Following a weekend of nationwide Black Lives Matter riots and destruction of property, Acosta repeatedly declined to denounce violence against law enforcement and thus found himself on the receiving end of a browbeating from McEnany.
Acosta also refused to acknowledge the reality that St. John’s Episcopal Church across from the White House caught fire during said riots.
With this Zuckerbot refusing to acknowledge the sacrifices that involve serving in law enforcement, McEnany was left to remind him that they help keep him safe: “Police officers are out on the front lines. They’re defending and protecting you as you come into this building each and every day, Jim. We owe them honor. We owe them respect and when they are under attack, they have the ability to defend themselves.”
McEnany turned in what may have been the takedown of the year when Acosta decided stir up trouble in regards to coronavirus cases in context of an upcoming Trump rally and failed to entertain the idea of a liberal double standard between Trump rallies and massive, packed Black Lives Matter gatherings and marches.
Along with her trusted binder, the White House Press Secretary brought along that day’s New York Post as it echoed the cries of a double standard and gave Acosta homework to “work on your internal cohesion” before questioning her again.
Click “expand” to read the full exchange in all its glory:
MCENANY: It’s a personal choice of individuals as to what to do, but if we want to talk about internal coherence, I believe that the media needs to work on internal coherence. This wonderful New York Post story. I don’t think Steven Nelson’s here, but good job to the New York Post, highlights the hypocrisy of the media where this is okay, protesting. This is not okay, Trump rallies. I mean, it’s really remarkable and I think the American people have taken notice when, for instance, NBC News tweets at 5:05 p.m. on June 14 “Rally for Black trans lives draws packed crowd to Brooklyn Museum plaza,” seeming to be lauding the protests and then less than an hour and a half later, they say “President Trump plans to rally his supporters next Saturday for the first time since most of the country was shuttered by coronavirus. But health experts are questioning that decision.” CBS had a similar logically inconsistent tweet.
ACOSTA: But these are protesters protesting against injustice, against racism and police brutality. This is a rally, a political rally. There — there are not going to be demonstrations for any kind of cause other than supporting the President and I go back to my original question: Will the White House, will the President take responsibility if there are people who catch the coronavirus and get sick?
MCENANY: Jim —
ACOSTA: As you know, you’ve been to these rallies. Many of these people who go to these rallies —
MCENANY: So have you, by the way.
ACOSTA: — I’ve been to them too —
ACOSTA: — are elderly, probably have pre-existing conditions that might put them at risk for serious complications if they catch this virus.
MCENANY: So first, let me know you’ve been to these rallies, these Trump rallies. We do rally in support of something. We rally in support of the President who got us the lowest black unemployment in the history of our country and paychecks going up. We rally that HBCU — funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities is permanent because of President Trump.
ACOSTA: But you didn’t answer my question.
MCENANY: We rally —
ACOSTA: Will the President, will the White House —
MCENANY: — but to suggest —
ACOSTA: — take responsibility —
MCENANY: — no, because you —
ACOSTA: — if people get sick?
MCENANY: Jim, you suggested —
ACOSTA: Will — can you answer that question?
MCENANY: — you suggested that we don’t rally on behalf of anything, so let me note one more thing. We rally on behalf of —
ACOSTA: I said that you rally on behalf of the President. That’s why you’re going.
MCENANY: — we rally on behalf of criminal justice reform and the First Step Act, which President Obama and Vice President Biden talked about, but we did. And I would note this. If we want to talk about the efficacy of what we’re doing, 1,300 health experts signed a letter about the protests saying we do not condemn these gatherings. We support them as vital, so you have health experts on one side saying this and then all of a sudden, a Trump rally is different.
ACOSTA: Okay, but you’re dancing around — you’re dancing around the question.
MCENANY: I’ve taken five of your questions.
ACOSTA: You’re holding up a newspaper headline. That’s — that’s very nice.
MCENANY: Work on your internal cohesion and get back to me, Jim.
Two days after being annihilated over the left’s double standard on public gatherings during the pandemic, Acosta again decided to make a fool of himself by screeching about President Trump sharing a parody video based on the viral video of two toddlers running toward each other and hugging.
Acosta was incensed that Trump was “exploiting children to make some sort of crass political point,” but McEnany put Acosta back in his place by reminding him that CNN settled a defamation suit with Covington student Nicholas Sandmann.
Acosta was dissatisfied, so McEnany reminded him that CNN frequently took Trump out of context to advance their agenda.
The CNN carnival barked tried to engage in cross-talk, but McEnany reminded him that “this isn’t a cable news segment.”
Acting as the closer after a wild briefing featuring former acting DNI Richard Grenell, senior White House adviser Jared Kushner, and National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, McEnany delivered a brutal takedown of the Trump-hating Atlantic magazine’s anonymous source-laden piece claiming the President disparaged fallen soldiers during a 2018 trip to Europe.
McEnany cited on the record denials from what were then a dozen current and former White House aides to underline a piece from Obama mouthpiece Jeffrey Goldberg that was “quite clearly fake news” and “categorically debunked.”
After roughly four minutes debunking the piece, McEnany left the room to angry quarrels from liberal journalists that were dead-set on willing the story into existence. In contrast, stories such as those about Georgia Senate candidate Raphael Warnock (D) have had more direct evidence, but not a scintilla of network coverage.
This briefing definitely stood out in terms of its combativeness, ranging from start to finish as journalists had received their marching orders with excerpts from Bob Woodward’s book Rage, a tome in which Woodward personally deemed Trump unfit to be President.
Fielding queries from journalists that President Trump should be blamed for having helped to kill hundreds of thousands of Americans from COVID, McEnany wasn’t having it.
For this duel, McEnany’s sworn adversaries included NBC’s Geoff Bennett, ABC’s Jonathan Karl, the AP’s Zeke Miller, Bloomberg’s Mario Parker, and CBS’s Paula Reid. In one case, Bennett denounced Trump’s words about not wanting to create further panic in the pandemic’s early days as “an abject betrayal.”
Despite Dr. Tony Fauci’s public pushback at this insistence Trump purposefully languished as people became sick and died, nothing McEnany said was going to suffice.
The October 1 briefing was similar to the one on September 9 as liberal reporters acted like sharks with blood in the water, haranguing McEnany with assertions that President Trump had yet to denounce white supremacy.
McEnany came prepared with a slew of past statements (and dates to boot), but the assembled journalists wanted nothing to do with it. Even the Fox News Channel’s John Roberts participated in this skirmish, lashing out at McEnany and informing that he didn’t care about “a bunch of quotes from the past.”
Along with CNN’s Kaitlan Collins and Fox News Radio’s John Decker, Reid seized the spotlight for herself to make hay for the cameras, engaging in a bitter back-and-forth that ended with McEnany calmly reminding a furious Reid that “you need to let me finish” because “we’re not having a debate on a cable news channel right now.”
Here was part of that exchange (click “expand”):
REID: The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security say that racially-motivated violent extremism is one of the most deadly threats in the U.S. Does the White House agree with that assessment and what is it doing to combat this threat?
MCENANY: The President has done quite a bit to combat this threat. First of all, last week, he — in addition to saying he wants to prosecute the KKK as domestic terrorists — he said that lynching should be a national hate crime. Again, I think there’s no stronger signal that you can send than advocating for the execution of a white supremacist, the first time there’s been a federal execution in 17 years. He’s been unmistakable.
REID: Saying you want to do it is different than actually doing it.
MCENANY: He continually condemned it and it is really —
REID: His record on this —
MCENANY: — it’s really —
REID: — to what John’s been talking about, is mixed.
MCENANY: — it — it is —
REID: He’s condemned it.
MCENANY: — it’s not mixed.
REID: He’s equivocated it. At times, he’s said he didn’t want to acknowledge it or address it. His record is very mixed on this issue.
MCENANY: His record is not mixed in the slightest.
REID: His record is mixed.'
MCENANY: And when you go back —
REID: His record is very mixed.
MCENANY: — in history, you can see that.
REID: I have his history right here.
MCENANY: When you go back in history, you can see that.
REID: I have his quotes. It’s extremely mixed.
MCENANY: Justin Jackson has praised the President as someone who’s served underserved communities. This President, with Mar-a-Lago, was the first Palm Beach club open to African-Americans and Jews.
REID: But while that’s important, his record —
MCENANY: And in fact —
REID: — is mixed.
MCENANY: — he was — he was praised —
REID: He has not been consistent on the issue —
MCENANY: — he has been —
REID: — of white supremacy.
MCENANY: — entirely consistent.
REID: What has this White House done —
MCENANY: And it is —
REID: — combat —
MCENANY: — shameful —
REID: — what —
MCENANY: — it is quite shameful —
REID: — the FBI says is one of the —
MCENANY: — it is quite shameful —
REID: — deadliest —
MCENANY: — let me speak, Paula —
REID: — threats in this country?
MCENANY: Paula, we’re not having a debate on a cable news channel —
REID: You’re — you’re —
MCENANY: — right now.
REID: — saying that he —
MCENANY: You need to let me finish.
REID: — that he condemns it. I have his record right here. It’s mixed.
MCENANY: You need to let me finish —
REID: His record is mixed.
MCENANY: — cause 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 give me time to answer.
For our final entry, we head to McEnany’s most recent briefing almost two weeks ago in which she went after the liberal media’s silence on California Democratic Congressman Eric Swalwell’s relationship with a Chinese spy, their sudden interest in Hunter Biden’s life of corruption, and their doubts about coronavirus vaccines being administered in 2020.
McEnany read aloud four examples of liberal prognosticators and fact-checkers attempting to debunk something that hadn’t happened yet before ruling: “These reports deserve their own fact-check: false. President Trump has not only been the optimist, hopeful to achieve a vaccine by years end, he has also been a leader.”
And on Swalwell, McEnany ran through things Swalwell falsely claimed about Trump being a Russian asset as having been “covered breathlessly by the media” versus “no coverage, however, of Swalwell being the one implicated, with not Russia but China.”
Later, McEnany devoted her closing statement to the media’s post-election acknowledgments that Hunter Biden hasn’t exactly been an upstanding citizen, reading aloud Hunter-related headlines from three different outlets (New York Times, Politico, Washington Post) before and then after the election.