White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany pivoted Friday from a question from PBS Newshour’s Yamiche Alcindor to an attack on CNN.
McEnany began the briefing by outlining the Justice Department’s decision to drop the case against former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, but Alcindor’s question focused on the press secretary’s comments about Trump from five years earlier. (RELATED: New Press Secretary Unloads On Media During White House Briefing)
“In 2015, shortly after the president said some Mexican immigrants are rapists and criminal, you said that language was ‘racist and hateful.’ Do you still believe that today?” Alcindor asked, referencing comments that were recently shared by CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski.
Here’s video we just played on CNN of comments Kayleigh McEnany made criticizing Donald Trump in 2015, calling comments from Trump “racist,” and saying he was “a showman,” not “a serious candidate’ and adding “I don’t want to claim this guy.” pic.twitter.com/dxDaFJgKqc
— andrew kaczynski???? (@KFILE) May 7, 2020
McEnany explained that those comments were a reflection of the fact that she had been watching CNN at the time, adding, “I was naively believing some of the headlines that I saw on CNN.”
She then pointed out that she had come around to support Trump very soon after that, saying, “In fact, CNN hired me, I was on many eight-on-one panels where I proudly supported this president who I believe is one of the best presidents, if not the best president this country will ever have.”
“I would encourage the individual who did that analysis of my past, rather than focusing on me, he really should be focused on some of the very guests CNN chose to have on their network,” McEnany continued. “He should be focused on Jim Clapper, who said ten days before he privately told investigators there was no evidence of collusion, that ‘Watergate pales in comparison to the Russia probe.’ I would encourage them to look at Samantha Powers, who privately is saying, ‘I’m not in possession of any evidence of collusion.’ Ambassador writes, ‘I don’t recall intelligence or evidence of any collision.’ Former Attorney General Loretta Lynch: ‘I don’t recall that being briefed to me.'”
McEnany concluded by saying that she was grateful to see the Russia investigation transcripts released, adding, “If the American people are watching right now, they are probably very confused as to some of the quotes I read because those individuals were saying much different things publicly than they were saying privately.”
“Are you walking back those comments today?” Alcindor pressed again.
“I support this president. There is no questioning that. I am so honored to work for him,” McEnany moved on. “Next question.”