The Trump White House is entirely incapable of responding to tough questions. Whenever a reporter tries to cut to the heart of some issue with this uniformly disastrous administration they’re met with insults, misdirection, and outright lies.
Since any honest form of journalism must paint this presidency in an unflattering light, Trump and his lackeys rely on right-wing propaganda outlets like Fox News and the even more rabidly conservative One America News to get their mendacious messaging out.
OAN, a disreputable far-right network that would have never obtained a press pass under a normal administration, has become a fixture of White House Press briefings over the past few years and OAN‘s White House correspondent Chanel Rion has built a reputation for lobbing softball questions to Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany. Rion invariably echoes Trump talking points and peppers her interactions with conspiracy theories and anti-Democrat sentiments. In no sense should what she does be considered serious journalism.
Today, Rion absurdly asked if Trump is considering pardoning former President Obama for “illegally wiretapping” him and for other “potential crimes.”
The ridiculous question was a transparent attempt to amplify the “Obamagate” conspiracy theory that Trump has been ranting about for weeks. The reality, of course, is that Obama didn’t actually do anything illegal. In fact, when Trump was asked directly by a reporter what crime he believes his predecessor committed he was unable to conjure up a coherent answer.
McEnany was suspiciously well-prepared for the question.
“So I have not spoken to the president about that,” said McEnany, treating the question as if it were legitimate. She then launched into what appeared to be a preprepared rant about Obamagate, chastizing the other reporters in the room for not taking the ludicrous and nonsensical conspiracy more seriously. She then presented a series of slides of Trump talking points on the subject.
The pathetic performance seems to indicate backroom cooperation between OAN and the White House which, in addition to being a disgrace to journalism, demonstrates just how desperate this administration is to peddle its half-baked narratives.
Watch the embarrassing interaction below.
Note how McEnany had a slideshow ready to go in response to this question from OAN. This was almost certainly a planted question from @ChanelRion, who was recently barred from attending the White House briefings as a reporter. https://t.co/1f07Wt3qyB
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 22, 2020
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