McEnany SLAMS WH Press for Maligning Her Character, ‘Disparate, Unfair’ Treatment

In her first interview since the end of the Trump administration, former White House Press Secretary and newly-minted Fox News contributor Kayleigh McEnany spoke Tuesday about what she viewed as a “disparate” and “unfair” treatment from liberal journalists who refused to give her “a modicum of respect,” while current Press Secretary Jen Psaki had been able to skate by relatively unscathed.

Speaking with Harris Faulkner, McEnany said that, when asked to evaluate how she was treated in the briefing room, it was “disparate, unfair in the sense of….a Democrat woman standing at that podium would never have had a Playboy reporter in the back of the room shouting at her as she left, and nor should a Democrat woman ever have to face that, and nor should a Republican woman.”

 

 

Building on having name-checked carnival barker Brian Karem, McEnany added that there should be “a modicum of respect that I think reporters and those at the podium in a political role should have for one another,” but was sullied by “reporters who were more interested in being political operatives, let’s say, than journalists.”

McEnany left viewers to conjure up which reporters she was talking about and, in contrast to many of the reporters she dealt with, she took the high road by making clear that “there are some incredible reporters who, to this day, represent the kind of journalism I think is good.”

Later, McEnany said her time as President Trump’s top spokesperson was often “very personal” as journalists and other opponents tried to “malign” her “character” with “horrible things that — charges they make against people behind the podium, me[.]” 

On Psaki’s tenure, Faulkner said that she didn’t want to have McEnany give Psaki a letter grade, so she instead wondered: “[H]ow is her job different by the way she is treated than your job was and the way that you were treated?”

McEnany first made clear that she “wish[es] her all the best” and “left her a note saying that much” along with the fact that they had met once before. 

That said, McEnany said Psaki briefings are “different in a big way,” recalling how, in “one of the early press briefings, and she was asked about the Antifa riots, and I believe she said that she hadn’t spoken to the President about that, and they let her move on whereas if I would have been asked that about violence on the other side of the aisle, that wouldn’t have been an answer that — that flew, nor should it have and so, I think just the standards are different.”

She added that, Americans “are so smart” and “so wise,” so “they see the difference” in contrast to the way they are now versus McEnany’s where she “gave a voice to the forgotten man and woman” by “nam[ing] names of people who — who were not acknowledged often by the press like David Dorn,” Secoriea Turner, and LeGend Taliferro.”

The interview also touched on how McEnany had wanted to give a final briefing to recap the administration’s many, many successes, but the events of (and the fallout from) January 6 inhibited that (click “expand”):

FAULKNER: I want to go down that personal road and let people get to know you even more. Was there anything that you wanted to say, or do as you were leaving, on your last day at the White House? What was that day like?

MCENANY: Yes. You know, I wanted to do a press briefing on the way out about all of the great achievements of this administration and all of the good that I felt that the President had done. We didn’t get the opportunity to do that because obviously with January 6, it just was something that was not tenable. We were — the last days were sad. We were packing boxes; we were sad that this was one of the last events that happened on the way out the door and, you know, so I wish we could have that opportunity to have that legacy press briefing as it was, but it was a somber time. 

To see the relevant FNC transcript from March 2, click “expand.”

FNC’s The Faulkner Focus
March 2, 2021
11:27 a.m. Eastern

HARRIS FAULKNER: Former Trump White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, never afraid to mix it up with reporters, as you know. And more of my exclusive interview. She opened up about being a new mom while doing that job. But, we started with how she was treated in the press room and what she is seeing now with the Biden team.  

KAYLEIGH MCENANY: I would say disparate, unfair in the sense of a — and I said this to my staff often — often — a Democrat woman standing at that podium would never have had a Playboy reporter in the back of the room shouting at her as she left, and nor should a Democrat woman ever have to face that, and nor should a Republican woman. There’s a modicum of respect that I think reporters and those at the podium in a political role should have for one another and there are some incredible reporters who, to this day, represent the kind of journalism I think is good. But it was very clear. I think we don’t need to name names, but I think the audience would be well aware — [FAULKNER LAUGHS] — of some of the reporters who were more interested in being political operatives, let’s say, than journalists, and I think they made themselves known.

FAULKNER: I — I don’t want to put you on the spot with Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary for the Biden administration, so maybe this is a better way to ask it rather than what grade would you give her — how is her job different by the way she is treated than your job was and the way that you were treated? I think that’s fair.

MCENANY: Yes, that’s a — that’s a great question. I mean, look, first, I wish her all the best. I left her a note saying that much. We’ve had — we’ve met previously one time and she was very kind and so were her colleagues that [sic] in the press shop and I left her a note, I wish her the best. But it’s different in a big way. I’ll never forget watching one of the early press briefings, and she was asked about the Antifa riots, and I believe she said that she hadn’t spoken to the president about that, and they let her move on whereas if I would have been asked that about violence on the other side of the aisle, that wouldn’t have been an answer that — that flew, nor should it have and so, I think just the standards are different. But I think the American people are so smart, so wise, they see the difference, and what I love is — is they’re able to discern for themselves what is true and what is not. One thing I do want to say, just back in the point of the briefings — and I’m so proud of — as — my legacy as press secretary and my press shop as press secretary is, I really feel we gave a voice to the forgotten man and woman and that’s a phase President Trump used and, you know, I believe he did that when he changed the Republican Party. But at the podium, we named names of people who — who were not acknowledged often by the press like David Dorn, an amazing police officer who lost his life —

FAULKNER: I remember that.

MCENANY: — and Secoriea Turner, a beautiful girl who lost her life to crime in the streets, and LeGend Taliferro, a young boy who was shot in his bed and lost his life and we brought attention to these stories and we brought attention to people who were victims of COVID in other ways. Like when I went to my cancer hospital at Moffitt Cancer Center for a mammogram and the halls were empty, and it made me sad because people were missing their regular mammograms and screenings, and we brought attention to that and to kids — in July, we were saying open the schools, the science is there, and there are devastating repercussions. So I — I feel we used the podium to really magnify these forgotten men and women and in tragic cases, children.

FAULKNER: Yeah. So much of what you said was packed with personal, and we don’t often get that from the person who is standing behind the lectern. There are always a million things we can cover and things to do, but that was personal and I — I wonder if that means something now as you watch the next person do the job that — that — that it was personal for you.

MCENANY: It was very personal and that’s why when people want to malign your character and say that you’ve lied and these horrible things that — charges they make against people behind the podium, me, they made these charges. We were painstaking and footnoting our sources, talking about what’s important, what message do we want to share today, and personalizing it.

FAULKNER: I want to go down that personal road and let people get to know you even more. Was there anything that you wanted to say, or do as you were leaving, on your last day at the White House? What was that day like?

MCENANY: Yes. You know, I wanted to do a press briefing on the way out about all of the great achievements of this administration and all of the good that I felt that the President had done. We didn’t get the opportunity to do that because obviously with January 6, it just was something that was not tenable. We were — the last days were sad. We were packing boxes; we were sad that this was one of the last events that happened on the way out the door and, you know, so I wish we could have that opportunity to have that legacy press briefing as it was, but it was a somber time.

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