‘I’ll never lie to you’: Press secretary gives first White House briefing in more than a year
President Donald Trump’s recently appointed White House press secretary held the first media briefing in more than a year on Friday, fielding questions on China, a sexual-assault allegation against Joe Biden and more topics.
The briefing by Kayleigh McEnany was the first since former press secretary Sarah Sanders’s last on-camera briefing on March 11, 2019.
McEnany is Trump’s fourth press secretary. She succeeded Stephanie Grisham on April 7, taking the role after serving as national press secretary for Trump’s re-election campaign.
“I’ll never lie to you,” said the 32-year-old McEnany, a Georgetown and Harvard Law graduate, as well as a former Trump-backing CNN contributor. “You have my word on that.” She was tapped for the job by Trump’s new chief of staff, Mark Meadows.
Trump has effectively served as his own spokesman during the coronavirus pandemic, though he tweeted last week that he doubted his daily White House briefings on the subject were worthwhile. He has continued to field reporters’ questions at White House events, and frequently uses his Twitter
account to comment.
dropped by about 600 points on Friday, slumping at the start of May on the heels of Trump’s threat to impose tariffs on China in retaliation for its handling of the pandemic. Investors also showed disappointment with earnings from big tech companies.
Asked about possible retaliation against China, McEnany said she wouldn’t “get ahead of any announcement” by Trump. But she added, “It is no secret that China mishandled this situation.”
Trump’s political team urged the president to curtail his coronavirus briefings, arguing that the combative sessions were costing him in the polls, particularly among seniors, as the Associated Press reported.
See: Trump erupts at campaign team as internal poll numbers show him trailing Biden
McEnany’s first briefing came the same day that Biden denied a sexual-assault allegation against him by a former Senate staffer. Asked about similar allegations against Trump, McEnany said such questions had been “asked and answered.”
“Leave it to the media to really take an issue about the former vice president and turn it on the president,” McEnany said.
Now read:‘This never happened’: Biden denies sexual-assault allegations by ex–Senate staffer Tara Reade
Grisham never held an on-camera briefing in the White House’s briefing room and is now chief of staff to first lady Melania Trump. Sanders was the last Trump press secretary to give a briefing. Sanders took over for Sean Spicer, Trump’s first White House press secretary.