Amid the Coronavirus crisis, the Trump administration is clearly zeroing in on presidential campaign-oriented politics. Following the abruptly revealed departure of Stephanie Grisham from her role as White House press secretary, Trump 2020 campaign spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany, who’s served as a Trump campaign surrogate for years, is coming on as the new press secretary, reports say.
McEnany has publicly stuck by the president’s side for years — often floundering in the process, like on the occasion in late February when she insisted that Americans “will not see diseases like the Coronavirus come here.” She was entirely wrong — which means she’ll fit right in at the White House!
McEnany’s former jobs include Republican National Committee spokeswoman, and she’s coming onboard at the White House following the arrival of Mark Meadows as the new White House chief of staff. Meadows resigned from his position in Congress just recently in order to assume the White House role. He frequently proved himself an ardent Trump defender during his time in Congress, and more broadly, he was a leading member of the far-right Congresspersons’ coalition known as the House Freedom Caucus.
It’s unclear at present what specific policies that McEnany may enact at her new job; her predecessor never held a single press briefing, although some of her colleagues, like longtime Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway, did frequently speak with the press. Meanwhile, Grisham mainly stuck to a long slew of Fox News appearances — although even that wasn’t enough to gain the president’s favor, it seems, because he recently publicly complained about his administration’s public relations operation.
At a recent press conference, he complained:
‘We’ve done a poor job on press relationships, and I guess, I don’t know who to blame for that. Maybe I can blame ourselves for that. I will blame ourselves. But I think we’ve done a great job. I think we’ve done a poor job in terms of press relationship.’
The astounding thing, of course, is that he himself is the one who’s repeatedly torpedoed his administration’s relationships with the press.
Upon her departure and subsequent assumption of the position of First Lady Melania Trump’s chief of staff, Grisham commented:
‘I continue to be honored to serve both the President and First Lady in the Administration. My replacements will be announced in the coming days and I will stay in the West Wing to help with a smooth transition for as long as needed.’
Her replacement will have to deal with Coronavirus issues, which she’s already done in an on-brand Trumpian way.
During a Fox News appearance shortly before the president proclaimed that Coronavirus concern was a hoax at a rally, she pompously asserted:
‘This President will always put America first… We will not see diseases like the Coronavirus come here, we will not see terrorism come here, and isn’t that refreshing when contrasting it with the awful Presidency of President Obama.’
Again — she could not have been more wrong. Just this Tuesday, New York reported its highest single day death total so far, including a full 731 confirmed Coronavirus fatalities.
McEnany on Feb. 25: "This President will always put America first … We will not see diseases like the Coronavirus come here, we will not see terrorism come here, and isn't that refreshing when contrasting it with the awful Presidency of President Obama." https://t.co/daZ8kEP5IN
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) April 7, 2020