A reporter attempted to corner new White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany on her past statements about coronavirus and she deftly turned it into a call for accountability from the media.
It’s a sign that McEnany is fully prepared for the ‘gotcha’ questions the media have become known for in the era of President Trump.
She has been accused of making past statements that appeared to downplay the severity of the coronavirus pandemic long before anyone understood the extent of the crisis.
And with that, the media tried to pounce …
Take It Back?
Reuters’ White House correspondent Jeff Mason had to be chomping at the bit when he lined up his question.
“In a previous life, before you were press secretary, you worked for the [Trump] campaign. And you made a comment, I believe on Fox, in which you said President Trump will not allow the coronavirus to come into this country,” Mason said.
“Given what has happened since then, obviously, would you like to take that back?”
That’s when a murder of the media’s credibility took place.
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) May 6, 2020
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Initially, McEnany responded to the question by adding context, a concept foreign to the White House press corps.
She notes that at the time she was being asked about the President’s travel restrictions from China and the “intention” to keep the virus from spreading throughout the United States.
Then she went off on the media.
“I guess I would turn the question back on the media and ask similar questions,” McEnany replied to Mason.
“Does Vox want to take back that they proclaim that the coronavirus would not be a deadly pandemic?” she asked. “Does The Washington Post want to take back that they told Americans to ‘get a grip,’ the flu is bigger than the coronavirus?”
She continued, “Does The Washington Post, likewise, want to take back that our brains are causing us to exaggerate the threat of the coronavirus?”
“I’ll leave you with those questions, maybe you’ll have some answers in a few days.”
— Trump War Room – Text TRUMP to 88022 (@TrumpWarRoom) May 7, 2020
Donald Trump Jr. was so enthralled by McEnany’s response that he tweeted video and lauded her for “torch(ing) fake news media outlets on their BS propaganda.”
“This is amazing,” he added.
Last month, President Trump turned the tables on the media as well, showing a video montage of numerous times that they downplayed his concerns over the coronavirus crisis.
President Trump just played a montage of the the media downplaying the Coronavirus in the White House Briefing Room
What a Savage 🔥 pic.twitter.com/rZDio8F27V
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) April 13, 2020
After calling out several more news outlets, McEnany then delivered the walk-off.
“I’ll leave you with those questions and maybe you’ll have some answers in a few days,” she said.
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