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Tue Sep 22, 2020, 08:02 PM

Press Briefing by Kayleigh McEnany; September 22, 2020


Press Briefing by Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany
Issued on: September 22, 2020

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room
1:23 P.M. EDT

MS. MCENANY: Hello, everyone. Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have officially shown their blatant disregard for the United States Constitution. Apparently, it is now a high crime and misdemeanor worthy of impeachment for a lawfully elected President of the United States to exercise his constitutional duty.

Article Two, Section Two of the Constitu- — of the Constitution clearly states that the President, quote, “shall nominate,” end quote, justices of the Supreme Court when a vacancy occurs. No matter the time, no matter the politics of the day, the President is the President. There is nothing in the Constitution that says the President stops being the President in an election year.


And with that, I’ll take questions.


Q Kayleigh, as you know, the country has hit 200,000 deaths from the coronavirus. What do you say to Americans who are outraged over this and blame this administration for so many lives lost in this country?

MS. MCENANY: Well, as you’ve heard several doctors in the task force — task force note from this podium, we were looking at the prospect of 2 million people potentially perishing from the coronavirus in this country.

We grieve when even one life is lost. But the fact that we have no —

Q But there could have been a lot less than 200,000.

MS. MCENANY: — the fact that we have come nowhere near that number is a testament to this President taking immediate action — to shutting down travel from China when the other party, Democrats, were saying that was “xenophobic”; for shutting down travel for Europe; for developing landmark therapeutics that are working, like remdesivir.

And when you look at the fact that excess mortality — Europe has experienced a 28 percent higher excess mortality rate than the United States — it’s a testament to the hard work done by the task force and this President.

Q And if you don’t mind, if I could follow up: Last night, the President said at one of his rallies, about the virus — and I think he was talking about younger Americans — he said it affects “virtually nobody.” “By the way, open your schools. Everybody open your schools.”

But he said to Bob Woodward: It’s not just old — it’s not just older people, it’s young people, too.

At 200,000 deaths, shouldn’t the President be telling people the truth about this virus at his rallies?

MS. MCENANY: The President is telling people the truth. And you’re right, Jim, that he was talking about —

Q No, he’s not. He’s saying that it affects “virtually nobody” and that it doesn’t affect young people. He’s not telling the truth.

MS. MCENANY: Jim, but you’re again taking the President out of context. I have his full quote here. And you’re right that he was referring to young people. He said this —

Q Well, then I’m not taking it out of context. If I said he was talking about younger people, then I’m not taking it out of context.

MS. MCENANY: You’re — you are taking it out of context because you’re making an assertion that he’s not giving critical information, when, in fact, he is. And I will underscore exactly what he said. And he said this: “You know, in some states, thousands of people — [and they’ve had] nobody young. Below the age of 18 — like nobody. They have a strong immune system.” And that is factually true. You can go to the American Academy of Pediatrics website, the Children’s Hospital Association, and they list out —

Q But, Kayleigh, as you know, younger people can contract —

MS. MCENANY: — a number of states that have had zero pediatric deaths.

Q — younger people can contract the coronavirus and then spread it to older people.

MS. MCENANY: And as —

Q And you’ve known this since the very beginning. And for the President of the United States — at 200,000 deaths — to go out to his rallies and say something like, “It virtually affects nobody,” and that, in some states, it’s not affecting young people, that is glossing over the fact and — and really diminishing the fact that young people can catch this virus and spread it to older people.

MS. MCENANY: Do you —

Q Younger people can also be sickened and killed by this virus.

MS. MCENANY: Jim, do you have the quote there with you?

Q I have the — I have the quote here, yes.

MS. MCENANY: Yes, it is exactly as I just read it to you — that in several states, they have had zero pediatric deaths. I’ve — have the entire list here — Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Iowa, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas — and the list goes on.

And as you may not know, Jim, this — the COVID has a 0.01 percent mortality rate for people under the age of 18. So it does — it is not a disease that affects young people in the same way as older people, which is the exact point —

Q But they can catch it —

MS. MCENANY: — the President was making last night.

Q But they can catch the virus and spread it to older people, Kayleigh.


Q One person, Kayleigh, who does believe that the President has the constitutional authority to make a nomination for the Supreme Court and that the Senate has the constitutional obligation to provide advice and consent is Utah Senator Mitt Romney. In the course of the last three and a half years, the President and Romney have often found themselves at odd — odds; have said unkind, if not intemperate, things about each other. How is the President feeling about Mitt Romney today?

MS. MCENANY: I haven’t spoken to him about Senator Romney. But Senator Romney is recognizing what any of us who take a clear-eyed look at prec- — at precedent recognize: that the precedent is on our side here. Twenty-nine times has there been an appointment during an election year. Twenty-nine times.



Q Kayleigh, one on COVID and one of the Court. First on COVID, if I can. The President recently gave himself an “A-plus” for his handling of COVID-19 but a “D” for his PR. What would good PR look like when 200,000 American are dead?

MS. MCENANY: What the President was saying is that he wants to make sure that we get good information to the American people. That’s something that I think we’ve done. And this President —

Q But hasn’t he admitted that he’s provided information at times that was not true?

MS. MCENANY: That’s —

Q He said he was — he said he was “downplaying” it. So, purposefully, he was providing information at times that was not fully true.

MS. MCENANY: That’s absolutely inaccurate. The President never downplayed critical health information. The President never downplayed —

Q He said he did.

MS. MCENANY: — our COVID response. And you can just see that by the historic effort that we’ve put forward.


Yes, Yamiche.

Q Thanks so much, Kayleigh. I have two questions. The first is: The President has said Roe v. Wade would be overturned if he got a chance to change the balance on the Court. He said, in 2016, quote, “If we put another two or perhaps three justices on, that will happen.” Is that the ultimate goal here, to overturn Roe v. Wade?

MS. MCENANY: The President and the administration would not ask a judge to prejudge a case. And I would point you to the rule set by none other than Senator Joe Biden at the confirmation hearing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, when he instructed no questions on how Ginsburg will decide any specific case that would come before her.

And as Justice Ginsburg said in her confirmation, “No hints, no forecast, no previews.” And Canon 5 of the Model Code of Judicial Conduct also reflects that a judge should refrain from giving specific viewpoints on cases, controversies, or issues.

Q I’m asking you whether or not the President’s quote in 2016, whether he still stands by that — that he would like to see it overturned.

MS. MCENANY: The President’s philosophy, as he’s moving forward with this nomination process, is he’s looking at a judge that has certain qualities, and that is someone who looks at the Constitution and interprets it as written, interprets the plain meaning of statutes as written, and will be a textualist and an originalist.

Q Can I ask you the second question about the virus?


Q Again, we’ve marked the fact that 200,000 Americans have died from the coronavirus. Could you again try to reconcile the President telling Bob Woodward that “plenty of young people” — quote, his words — “plenty of young people” are affected by the coronavirus, with him saying last night, in front of a crowd, that “virtually nobody” young dies or is affected by this virus?

I’m wondering if you could just reconcile those two. Why did he tell Bob Woodward that “plenty of young people” are impacted by this virus, but not say that in front of a crowd?

MS. MCENANY: Well, as you know, this was a novel pathogen. We now know a lot more about COVID today. And the President actually said that in a speech last night, right before the comments he made. He said we now know a lot more about the virus, and we know that elderly people, particularly those with comorbidities, are affected by it, and we know that young people are, by and large — and in some states, there’s been no young people that have succumbed to this disease. And I’ve listed off a few of the states for you.

We know that a very, very small percentage of those under 18 have actually perished because of COVID. And it was a novel pathogen, and now we know a lot more about it, who it affects, who our most vulnerable are, which is why we’ve surged testing to communities that are vulnerable and will continue to make sure that our elderly and those with comorbidities are protected.


Q But he’s not continuing to downplay it and not — not continue to try to, like, not have panic? He told Bob Woodward that he wanted to downplay and play it down to not cause panic. You don’t think he’s doing that still?

MS. MCENANY: The President has never downplayed critical health information.

Q He said that to Bob Woodward.

MS. MCENANY: Dr. Fauci, as I noted to you, said, point blank, “No, he didn’t.” And that an assertion the Vice Pre- — that Vice President Pence, who led the task force, made as well.


Q Thanks, Kayleigh. The administration has filed an appeal to the Supreme Court on apportionment, trying to make sure that people in the country illegally are not counted when congressional seats are handed out. Sorry, I’m a little muffled. Texas is one of the states that would lose a seat if those people are not counted.

The Constitution says that the people in a state are the number that are used for apportionment. Are those — are people in the country illegally not people? And why does the President not want Texas to have more seats rather than fewer in the U.S. House?

MS. MCENANY: Yeah, I haven’t done a particular — a deep dive into that legal case. I can look into it and get back to you.


Q Can I ask you a separate question?


Q At the top of this, you mentioned that Democrats have talked about impeachment, and you also said that a President doesn’t stop being President in the last year.

Is there any — not that they’re actually going through the impeachment at the moment, but is there anything to prevent an impeachment in the final months of a presidency?

MS. MCENANY: Well, first, I mean, to pursue impeachment based on someone executing their lawful duty, their constitutional duty, is just preposterous. And it told us a whole lot about what Democrats use impeachment for. It shows that they’ve always viewed impeachment — at least in the Nancy Pelosi era — as a partisan tool to take down a sitting President, to disempower the American people who voted to empower President Trump. They’ve used impeachment as a political tool. And that is — that will be the history and the record of Nancy Pelosi.

Now, she’s on the record saying that she would even use impeachment to try to undo the Constitution, particularly Article Two, Section Two. That is shameful but unsurprising from the Speaker.



Now I’d like to invite Lieutenant General Keith Kellogg to the podium to discuss a disgruntled former detailee. General Kellogg is a three-star general, a veteran of the Vietnam War and Operation Desert Storm. General Kellogg has been supporting President Trump from the beginning and has been by the President’s side for major foreign policy decisions.

General Kellogg, please.

LIEUTANANT GENERAL KELLOGG: Thanks, Kayleigh. Good afternoon. I’m Keith Kellogg. Olivia Troye worked for me. I fired her.

The reason I fired her was her performance had started to drop after six months working on the task force as a backbencher. She was responsible for coordinating meetings, bringing people together. And when the performance level dropped off, I went to the Vice President of the United States and recommended she leave.

I’m the one that escorted her off the compound. What she has said, I have never heard. That’s never happened. And I’ve been to every single meeting of the task force. I’ve been with the President and the Vice President through every meeting.

What bothers me about what Olivia said is, by insinuation, the disparagement of the task force, the Vice President, and the President of the United States. When you look at what the task force has done, we are now facing the worst pandemic we have seen in over 100 years, and we’re fighting through it.

We are this close to a vaccine that will work. We are finally fighting through it, and we’re developing some opportunities to make sure the American people are protected as we go forward.

And when we’ve had the doctors that are out there, when the comments she has made — when you looked at the Dr. Faucis, Dr. Birx, and Redfield, Stephen Hahn, Dr. Giroir — all of these doctors who have worked exceptionally hard for the American people.

The President has made some critical decisions all the way along the line. Tough decisions. He made a decision on the China travel ban when we had less than a dozen known cases here in the United States. He was the one who set up the air bridge, working with commercial companies, so we would develop and bring in PPE in 27 hours instead of 27 days. He’s the one who went to companies like 3M, so we could ra- — more rapidly manufacture the N95 masks going forward. He’s the one who drove all those efforts.

And I heard the comments made about the people we have lost. Do not think for a minute, that that has not bothered us; it does. Because we know, on the task force: Several of those people, scores of those people died without relatives because they couldn’t get in because of COVID. We know that. Scores of them died on ventilators when they’re under sedition [sic] — sedation, because they didn’t have an opportunity to see their loved ones. That bothers us every single day; don’t think it doesn’t. And it bothers the President.

And the President has been very confident that we’re going to get to a solution. You want a President, you want a leader that displays confidence that we have something going forward, that we’re going to win and beat this virus. And that’s what he’s done all the way along the line.

I’m very proud of the President of the United States. I’m very proud of the Vice President of the United States. I’m very proud of the task force and the work it’s done. I am not proud of Olivia Troye.

Q So, General —

Q General Kellogg, should the President be having these big rallies? Should the President be having these big rallies when there’s a pandemic going on?

MS. MCENANY: Thank you, Lieutenant General. We appreciate you doing that — that. What we have here, with this former disgruntled detailee and with Miles Taylor as well — these are not profiles in courage, but these are profiles in cowardice.

Less than two months ago, now disgruntled former detailee, Olivia Troye, proudly declared that she was serving in the Trump administration, and it had been, quote, “the honor of [her] life.” Troye said, quote, “I have witnessed firsthand how dedicated and committed all of you have been to doing the right thing.” She wrote that just about a month and a half ago.

Troye failed to speak up, and she struggled to keep up because she was constantly complaining about how exhausted and overwhelmed she was coordinating conference calls and scheduling meetings. Troye’s detail was cut short, and now she’s cutting commercials for a fringe club of, quote, “Never Trumpers” who are desperate for relevancy. And the price of admission to this club is fabricated smears and flat-out lies against President Trump.

Troye joins the similarly irrelevant Miles Taylor, CNN’s latest contributor. Taylor proudly posed for a photo with the President, smiling ear to ear. Taylor wrote that, quote, “It was the honor of [his] lifetime to serve as DHS Chief of Staff.” But Miles couldn’t go the distance. Those who knew Miles during his short time in the administration knew he could not get results.

After he left, DHS actually got the results in securing the border, building the border wall, and more. Desperate to please his new Silicon Valley friends, Miles made up lies against President Trump to fit in. He can now rest easy at Google, having earned his anti-Trump credentials and the approval of his big-tech peers.

Neither of these individuals knew the President, but they are certainly tried to profit — trying to profit off of their ti- — off of their time here in the White House. Flat-out lies.

And thank you, General Kellogg, for setting the record straight. Thank you.

END 2:01 P.M. EDT

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Reply Press Briefing by Kayleigh McEnany; September 22, 2020 (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves Sep 22 OP
mahatmakanejeeves Sep 22 #1

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Tue Sep 22, 2020, 08:40 PM

1. Sad that Gen. Kellogg is telling a bald faced lie to protect the President. I resigned on my own ...

Daniel Dale Retweeted

Sad that Gen. Kellogg is telling a bald faced lie to protect the President. I resigned on my own accord & was asked to stay. He never escorted me out. He knows this. I wrote a note thanking all the colleagues who had worked so hard with me in spite of POTUS & I stand by that. Flag of United States

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