Kayleigh McEnany Is Just Straight-Up Pretending She Doesn’t Work at the White House Now
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany has been getting some heavy criticism lately for repeatedly appearing on Fox News, not to do her job as a liason between the press and the federal government, but to hype Donald Trump’s reelection campaign. In recent months, she’s appeared on Fox multiple times to talk about Trump’s rallies, how great his campaign had been going, and to insult and throw accusations at Joe Biden.
These appearances seem to violate the Hatch Act, which is meant to prevent federal employees from engaging in political activity—not that that’s stopped anyone in the Trump administration before. During these interviews, McEnany never made it clear that she wasn’t appearing in an official White House capacity, as she has done plenty of times before.
The New York Times wrote recently that in one such interview, where the press secretary was describing scenes from the various rallies she’d attended with Trump, “Ms. McEnany did not say she was speaking in a position as a campaign adviser. Nor did the campaign or the White House ever announce that she was serving in both roles. When she left the campaign to become the White House press secretary, it was not made clear that she would continue on helping the campaign.”
I guess McEnany heard all that criticism, because in a new Fox News interview, she adopted a different tactic: pretending she doesn’t work at the White House at all.
Here’s Kayleigh McEnany, the White House press secretary appearing on Fox News as a Trump campaign advisor, referring a question to the White House. https://t.co/BwTXFI3VFa
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) November 12, 2020
When asked whether President-elect Joe Biden will have access to intelligence briefings, McEnany responded by saying she didn’t know and that “That would be a question more for the White House.”
Seeing as she is the White House press secretary, she is literally the exact person to ask that question of.
Campaign spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany refers questions to White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany https://t.co/sUM8edAinx
— Alex Horton (@AlexHortonTX) November 12, 2020
Taxpayers pay Kayleigh McEnany’s salary to work in the White House. Rather than do that job, she’s working on behalf of the Trump campaign, acting as if she doesn’t work in the White House. If that doesn’t sound right, it’s because it’s not. https://t.co/ZBYjd2UCFY
— Citizens for Ethics (@CREWcrew) November 12, 2020
KAYLEIGH MCENANY: I will have to refer you to the White House for that answer.
KAYLEIGH MCENANY: (puts on different blouse) No comment on that matter. I will have to refer you to the Trump Campaign.
— JeremyNewberger (@jeremynewberger) November 12, 2020
Host Brian Kilmeade introduced McEnany for this segment by (finally) acknowledging that she has a “dual role” and that she was appearing on the show as a campaign advisor. But that’s not how this works! She doesn’t stop being a federal employee just because she says so like Michael Scott loudly yelling “I declare bankruptcy” and considering the matter closed.
It’s getting lost in larger outrages, but @PressSec behavior is both outrageous and damaging. You can not be both a paid government employee and a spokesperson for the White House. It’s against the law. You can’t refer q’s to yourself wearing a different hat. Prosecute this. https://t.co/E9AaP6665z
— Joe Lockhart (@joelockhart) November 12, 2020
January 21st, 2021 should be a national holiday: Trump Administration Lawsuit Day.
(image: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
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