The White House Press Secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, has finally admitted that “very questionable tweets” require intense scrutiny and should subject their sender to criticism and censure.
Unfortunately, “Kay-lie McEnemy” — as her detractors have taken to calling her — was not referring to her boss, Donald Trump, when she made that admission but was defending the president’s outrageous tweet that he posted yesterday accusing Martin Gugino, the 75-year-old man who was pushed to the sidewalk and had his head cracked open by Buffalo, NY police during a BLM protest last week, of being an Antifa activist.
Trump was promoting a baseless conspiracy theory from extreme right-wing news outlet OANN when he posted the tweet below and earned immediate blowback not just from his political opponents but from his own White House aides who were reportedly “despondent” over the tweet being sent during a week that they had hoped would be dedicated to messages of reconciliation rather facing the flames of divisiveness.
Buffalo protester shoved by Police could be an ANTIFA provocateur. 75 year old Martin Gugino was pushed away after appearing to scan police communications in order to black out the equipment. @OANN I watched, he fell harder than was pushed. Was aiming scanner. Could be a set up?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 9, 2020
McEnany appeared on Fox & Friends this morning where co-host Brian Kilmeade asked whether trump really believed that the elderly Gugino was part of Antifa, the group that the administration has turned into its own all-purpose bogeyman for any fears of violent left-wing activism.
The press secretary was quite clear that the administration had examined the Twitter posts attributed to Gugino and had not liked what they saw since the posts reportedly included several tweets critical of police behavior.
“The president was raising questions based on a report that he saw, questions that need to be asked and every case we can’t jump on one side without looking at all of the facts at play,” McEnany told Kilmeade.
“This individual has some very questionable tweets, some profanity-laden tweets about police officers. Of course no on condones any sort of violence. We need the appropriate amount of force used in any interaction, but there are a lot of questions in that case.”
Despite the fact that McEnany continued to insist that “the president was just raising some of those questions,” Fox News‘ Kilmeade continued to press her on the propriety of Trump targeting the elderly activist during the massive protests against police brutality inspired by the murder of George Floyd.
The press secretary continued to defend her boss oblivious to the fact that his history of inflammatory tweets far exceeds anything posted by Gugino both in tone and in reach.
“The president has acknowledged so many times and rightfully so the injustice with George Floyd,” McEnany said. “He was upset when he saw that video as I noted he gave an entire speech about Mr. Floyd and the grave injustice there, but the president was raising some questions, some legitimate ones about that particular interaction and it’s his prerogative to do so.”
While it’s understandable that part of the job of the White House Press Secretary is to defend and explain the president’s statements, few presidents have forced their spokespeople to offer a rationale for indefensible conspiracy theories after such a blatant form of police violence — in the midst of a protest against exactly such brutal misbehavior — that it resulted in the immediate suspension of the officers caught perpetrating the assault on video.
If McEnany had any principles whatsoever, she would resign rather than try to defend Trump in this case.
That she didn’t tells you everything that you might need to know about anything that comes out of her mouth.
You can watch a clip of White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Fox & Friends this morning in the video attached below.
welp, the WH is doubling down
Kilmeade: Trump tweeted the 75-year-old protester might have been an antifa provocateur, can you expand on that?
McEnany: He was raising questions, there are questions that need to be asked in every case …This guy had profanity laden tweets pic.twitter.com/KJUjjbqQxt
— Lis Power (@LisPower1) June 10, 2020
Original reporting by Ken Meyer at Mediaite.
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Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.