White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany sparred with CBS reporter Paula Reid during a contentious press briefing Thursday.
Reid challenged McEnany on President Donald Trump’s position on condemning white supremacy, and then proceeded to talk over the press secretary as she answered the question. (RELATED: ‘More Fitting To Be Asked Of Democrats’: Kayleigh McEnany Flips Question About ‘Peaceful Transfer Of Power’)
McEnany began by pointing out some of the actions taken by the Trump administration to combat white supremacy, such as his plan to “prosecute the KKK as domestic terrorists” and to designate lynching as a national hate crime.
“There is 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,” McEnany added. “He continually condemned it and it is really —”
Reid pushed back, claiming several times that Trump’s record was “mixed” on the topic.
The topic has become a flashpoint since Tuesday’s debate when Trump appeared to give mixed instructions to the extremist group known as the Proud Boys, saying that they should “stand back and stand by.” He then said later that he did not know who the Proud Boys were.
Less than a day after telling the white supremacist group to “stand back and stand by” when asked if he’d condemn white supremacists, President Trump now says he doesn’t “know who the Proud Boys are.” https://t.co/BFBoCgPDZa
— NPR (@NPR) September 30, 2020
“His record is not mixed in the slightest,” McEnany replied, referencing the Reverend Jesse Jackson’s praise for Trump “serving the underserved communities” and noting that Mar-A-Lago was the first golf club in Palm Beach that was open to both Jews and African Americans.
Reid continued to talk over McEnany, insisting repeatedly that the president had been unclear with regard to his position on the matter.
“Let me speak, Paula. Paula, we’re not having a debate on a cable news network,” McEnany raised her voice slightly and continued, “Right now you need to let me finish. You need to let me finish. It’s quite funny that the media goes haywire about interrupting in debates and then chooses to pursue that very same tactic themselves. This is a White House briefing. You ask a question and you give me time to answer.”
Trump ran into a similar situation when he was asked repeatedly to denounce former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke — he also claimed to not know who Duke was at the time, despite denouncing him as a racist and a bigot in 2000.
Pressed by @jaketapper Trump refused three opportunities to denounce the former Grand Wizard of the Klu Klux Klan, David Duke. Claimed he didn’t know anything about him. a) bullshit b) what else do you possibly need to know? . https://t.co/rkZUtbzdwo
— Person Woman Man Camera TV (@ClaraJeffery) September 30, 2020