After news emerged of Kayleigh McEnany’s recent appointment as President Donald Trump’s new press secretary, the former Trump 2020 campaign spokeswoman has come under scrutiny for her history of spreading misinformation about the novel coronavirus; lying about Barack Obama; and disseminating racist content, among other troubling remarks.
McEnany — who, as CNN first reported on Tuesday, will replace Stephanie Grisham as the White House press secretary — has repeatedly been fact-checked in recent months for comments about the virus that causes COVID-19.
In late February, as Trump continued to downplay the potential threat of the virus, McEnany — who last year claimed the president “doesn’t lie” — appeared on Trish Regan’s since-canceled Fox Business show to echo her boss’ sentiment.
“We will not see diseases like the coronavirus come here,” McEnany claimed at the time, adding: “Isn’t it refreshing when contrasting it with the awful presidency of President Obama?”
On the same day Larry Kudlow said coronavirus was “contained” on Feb. 25th, Trump’s campaign spox made an even more bold claim.— andrew kaczynski🤔 (@KFILE) April 4, 2020
“We will not see diseases like the coronavirus come here..and isn't it refreshing when contrasting it with the awful presidency of President Obama." pic.twitter.com/O0DDH3Rvkw
McEnany later defended her remarks, insisting she was only referring to the travel restrictions that Trump had enacted.
Two weeks later, McEnany appeared on Fox Business again to assert the Trump campaign would be continuing with its rallies despite advice from Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, to stop holding large events.
“The president is the best authority on this issue,” McEnany claimed.
Here's Trump's new press secretary on March 11 saying that the campaign was still planning to hold rallies, even as she is repeatedly told that other campaigns are not and Fauci in effect advised against it.— John Whitehouse (@existentialfish) April 7, 2020
McEnany's response: "The president is the best authority on this issue" pic.twitter.com/c6tPHAZGM1
On March 12, McEnany said 1 million COVID-19 tests had already been distributed in the U.S.
A day later, however, the COVID Tracking Project estimated that just 10,000 people had been tested for the virus nationally.
McEnany also misleadingly suggested last month that the White House had not eliminated the “pandemic office” — even though, as Snopes pointed out in a fact-check, the Trump administration did nix “the executive branch team responsible for coordinating a response to a pandemic.”
Twitter users have also dug up earlier comments made by McEnany about then-President Barack Obama’s birth certificate.
This is the racist who is now the press secretary for the President of the United States. https://t.co/f3ghcBOFo3— Ben Rhodes (@brhodes) April 8, 2020
The new press secretary ladies and gents. Awesome. https://t.co/rwjgU9mP3m— Derek Favretto (@Favretto) April 8, 2020
McEnany has also been scrutinized for her 2017 claim that “President Obama” went golfing after Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl was murdered by terrorists.
George W. Bush was president when Pearl was abducted and killed in 2002; Obama was then a state senator.
WATCH: Kayleigh McEnany: Obama rushed off to golf after Daniel Pearl was beheaded.— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) March 28, 2017
Pearl was killed in 2002. Obama was a state senator. pic.twitter.com/5QkFRgjoR4
The new press secretary also allegedly posted racist content and right-wing conspiracy theories on a now-defunct blog.
In August 2016, she claimed the Confederate flag has come to symbolize “Southern pride,” Media Matters reported. That same month, McEnany attempted to defend Trump’s chracterization of Obama as the “founder of ISIS.”
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