White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany repeatedly refused Thursday to denounce white supremacists and insisted that President Donald Trump had spoken against racism at the chaotic presidential debate Tuesday.
After ticking off a list of times that Trump denounced white supremacy, McEnany said Trump responded appropriately at the debate when he said the Proud Boys should “stand by” amid racial justice protests nationwide.
“No, he did not misspeak,” McEnany said.
In a fiery press briefing, McEnany repeatedly derided journalists for supposedly spreading #FakeNews about Trump and accused them of a double standard for interrupting her when she dodged questions.
“The media goes haywire about interruptions at the debate but does the very same thing at this briefing,” said McEnany, referring to widespread public criticism of Trump’s repeatedly interrupting debate rival Joe Biden and moderator Chris Wallace.
John Roberts of the usually Trump-friendly Fox News launched an extraordinary angry on-air defense of the questioning.
“It’s a question that needs to be asked, and clearly (Republicans) are looking for an answer for it too,” Roberts, the typically stoic White House correspondent, told a Fox anchor in a live segment. “So stop deflecting. Stop blaming the media. I’m tired of it.”
McEnany also firmly defended Trump’s plans to stage mass rallies in coronavirus hot spots in battleground Wisconsin, despite pleas from public health experts to avoid gatherings in places where the virus is spreading virtually unchecked.
“There are two standards: one for Trump supporters and one for everyone else,” McEnany said, shrugging off concerns about the spread of COVID-19. “Somehow political speech is not vital if you are a Trump supporter.”
The president plans to hold rallies in Green Bay and La Crosse over the weekend. Both metro areas are grappling with deadly coronavirus outbreaks with Green Bay ranked No. 3 and La Crosse at No. 11 in the list of most cases in the entire nation during the past week.
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