Donald Trump's press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, has claimed without irony that the president has a history of speaking out against racists and white supremacists.
During Monday's press conference McEnany was asked about the president's recent comments on anti-fascist protesters, a group which Trump has blamed for the US riots and wants to be classified as a terrorist organisation.
McEnany was asked why Trump has not called for white supremacy groups to be given the same classification. In response, she gave a long-winded answer about how the Department of Justice and FBI classify terrorist organisations. As documented by the White House, she said:
So let me address the first part about legal authority. Title 18, Section 2331 allows that the term — it defines domestic terrorism as involving “acts dangerous to human life that…appear…intended to influence the policy of a government…” And other elements are laid out. And it allows the Department of Justice, when utilizing this statute, to invoke greater investigatory authority and to invoke harsher — harsher penalties.
I would note that the Justice Department has, in the past, used domestic terrorism in consultation with acts of white supremacy or what were racially motivated acts. Like, in April 2020, a Florida man pled guilty to threatening an African American Charlottesville city council candidate, and at that time, the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force was utilized. Same in the case of February 2020, where it was used in connection to four racially motivated violent extremists.
Then she added this caveat which was completely unnecessary and completely false.
And I would also note the President’s long history of condemning white supremacy and racism. There is no place in society for these egregious, egregious, despicable ideologies.
This almost ludicrous moment couldn't have been further from the truth and many people were happy to her know.
Perhaps the most famous example of Trump failing to condemn white supremacists was after the violence in Charlottesville, which was instigated by white supremacists when the president said that there were "very fine people on both sides" of the argument.
He has also failed to speak out against people at his own campaign rallies who chanted 'send her back' at migrant congresswoman Ilhan Omar. He was also recently criticised for comments he made about China in a coronavirus press conference.
McEnany his hardly innocent either. Throughout 2012 she spread conspiracy theories that Barack Obama was not born in the United States and made jokes about his family living 'in a hut in Kenya.' Bizarrely during a 2015 appearance on CNN she called Trump's comments about Mexican people "racist" and his anti-immigration comments "derogatory" and "hateful."