Being Trump’s press secretary is probably one of the most strange jobs there is. But being Trump’s new press secretary during a pandemic must be even weirder.
Will he tweet that coronavirus was made in a lab by China? Or will it be a run-of-the-mill, “everyone inject bleach”, kind of day?
Trump’s new press secretary Kayleigh McEnany has had an eventful few weeks, what with starting her job in the middle of a deadly pandemic and all.
McEnany’s tenure started off positively, when she pledged never to lie to reporters, but then 15 minutes in she appeared to break this pledge by rolling off a string of falsehoods.
Anyway, now things seem to have gone from bad to worse for the newbie, after 2015 clips of her branding Trump “hateful” and “racist” resurfaced online.
While Trump was still vying to become the Republican nominee, McEnany was critical of statements he made while announcing his campaign, in which he said Mexico was sending immigrants to the US who were "rapists" and bringing drugs and crime to the country. Trump added that "some, I assume, are good people"... which is... not the best save.
At the time, she said:
"To me, a racist statement is a racist statement. I don't like what Donald Trump said," she said in an exchange on CNN in late June 2015, in which she compared his remarks to comments about Jewish people made by the Reverend Al Sharpton in the 1990s.
McEnany said that Trump's comments were "derogatory" and as "equally hateful" as Sharpton's.
Donald Trump has shown himself to be a showman, I don't think he is a serious candidate.
I think it is a sideshow. It's not within the mainstream of the candidates.
I appreciate his boldness and I think some of his rhetoric got the base excited, but it is not welcome rhetoric.
In various media appearances in 2015, while she was studying at Harvard University and appearing on network TV as a contributor, McEnany said:
Some of the things we heard in his speech when he said, when Mexico sends people across the border, they're sending criminals and rapists and maybe some good people. Look, the GOP doesn't need to be turning away voters and isolating them. We need to be bringing them into the tent. Donald Trump is the last person who's going to do that.
I want to make clear, I don't support what Donald Trump said.
I think he said something very unartful, very inappropriate.
While McEnany made a noticeable pivot to supporting the president in late 2015 and began defending him (when it became almost certain he’d win the nomination), these comments resurfacing now must be awkward.
And now a reporter has asked McEnany if she stands by her view that Trump’s remarks against Mexicans were racist.
Surprise surprise, she swerved on giving a direct answer.
But she didn’t miss the opportunity to slam CNN, her former employer, saying:
I’m glad you asked that, actually. For about the first four weeks of the election, I was watching CNN and I was naively believing some of the headlines I saw on CNN.
I very quickly came around to supporting the president. CNN hired me. I was on many eight on one panels where I proudly supported this president, who I think is one of the best presidents, if not the best president this country will ever have.
So it's all CNN's fault... right?