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Thu Sep 24, 2020, 05:36 PM

Press Briefing by Kayleigh McEnany; September 24, 2020

As usual, Chanel #2 is the final person called upon for the day.

PRESS BRIEFINGS

Press Briefing by Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany
LAW & JUSTICE

Issued on: September 24, 2020

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

MS. MCENANY: Good afternoon, everyone. The radicals are in control of the Democrat Party. Make no mistake, Democrat radicals want to shatter norms and disregard precedent for the sake of the very norms and precedent they claim must be safeguarded.

They’ve proposed court packing — an egregious idea. They’ve entertained impeachment as punishment for the President exercising his lawful Article Two, Section Two authority to appoint — nominate, rather, a justice to the Supreme Court. They’ve advocated for the abolition of the Electoral College. These are all the tactics that they’re using to sow chaos and discord. Likewise, they’re endorsing a mass mail-out ballot system that will likely lead to the kind of weeklong delay New York witnessed in its recent primary.

Far-left radicals resort to tactics like this to push their extreme agenda because they cannot win on the merits; they cannot succeed based on the will of the American people. This administration will continue to call out these tactics, while Democrats should end their petty politics and get to work.

And with that, I’ll take questions. Jon.

Q Yeah, Kayleigh, I’m wondering if you can just clean up or clarify something the President said yesterday. If he loses this election, can you assure us that there will be a peaceful transfer of power?

MS. MCENANY: You are referring to the question asked by the Playboy reporter, right?

Q I’m referring to — with the President being asked if there would be a peaceful transfer of power, and he did not say yes.

MS. MCENANY: Yeah, I believe —

Q So I’m asking you: Will there be a peaceful transfer of power if he loses this election?

MS. MCENANY: I believe that question asked by the Playboy (inaudible) — in fact, I think I have it right here. He was asked —

Q I’m asking this question.

MS. MCENANY: He was asked — “win, lose, or draw” — whether he would accept the transfer of power. I’m not entirely sure, if he won, why he would accept a transfer of power. That is maybe the deranged wish of that reporter, but that’s not how governing works.

Q But I’m asking a very direct and very simple question. If the President loses this election, will this White House, will this President assure us that there will be a peaceful transfer of power? It’s a very simple question. We’ve been doing it since 1800.

MS. MCENANY: The President will accept the results of a free and fair election.

But I think that your question is more fitting to be asked of Democrats who have already been on the record saying they won’t accept the results of an election.

In fact, I have several of them here for you. South Carolina Democrat Jim Clyburn has said that Trump “is not going to win fairly.” Senator Barbara Boxer has said that the only way Trump will win is to “steal it.” That’s according to Democrat Senator Barbara Boxer.

The Washington Post has noted — they have a headline: “Democrats may not trust the results of the election if Trump wins.”

And then you have that beautiful quote from Hillary Clinton that “Joe Biden should not concede under any circumstance.”

So I think your fitting is more ques- — more a fitting — a fitting question for Democrats.

Yes.

Q Kayleigh, just to understand this clearly: Are the results legitimate only if the President wins?

MS. MCENANY: The President will accept the results of a free and fair election. He will accept the will of the American people.

Q So, for clarity, if he loses and it’s free and fair, he will accept that?

MS. MCENANY: I’ve answered your question. He will accept the results of a free and fair election.

Q Let me ask about Breonna Taylor, if I can, right now. First of all, I have just a little housekeeping: Has the President spoken to the family of Breonna Taylor?

MS. MCENANY: I’m not aware of any conversation that they’ve had, but our hearts do go out to her family.

Q Has the President spoken to the officers who were shot last night in Louisville?

MS. MCENANY: I’m not aware of any conversations.

Q So the President spoke to the officers who were shot in Los Angeles. But to this point, there’s no indication the President, at any point over the last several months, has spoken to the family of Breonna Taylor. I guess, why not?

{snip}

Q What is the President’s message to the family of Breonna? I heard what — you say: “We grieve for them.” But what is the President’s message to the family of Breonna Taylor that does not believe they received justice?

MS. MCENANY: That our hearts go out to her. It was a horrible tragedy that happened, and that our hearts also are with the two police officers who were shot last night in the Louisville riots.

Q When you say “our,” you mean — you mean the White House, including the President?
MS. MCENANY: Yes. I speak on behalf of the President. Yes.

Q Okay. Because that would be his thoughts go out to the —

MS. MCENANY: I am the President’s spokesperson. I speak on his behalf, Peter.

Q Well, he — in fact, one of the aides just said that the President was his own spokesperson, which is why I asked. But go ahead.

MS. MCENANY: Ben.

Q So, Kayleigh, yesterday, when the President said “Get rid of the ballots…there won’t be a transfer, frankly; there’ll be a continuation,” which particular ballots is he talking about wanting to get rid of? And why does he think that would help him get elected?

MS. MCENANY: The President wants to get rid of mass mail-out voting. And that’s not because — he said clearly that that could go either way: It could damage either candidate’s chances because it’s a system that’s subject to fraud.

In fact, in the last 24 hours, police in Greenville, Wisconsin, found mail in a ditch, and it included absentee ballots.

And also, I can confirm for you that Trump ballots — ballots for the President were found in Pennsylvania. And I believe you should be getting more information on that shortly. Here, in the last 24 hours, they were found cast aside.

Q So why, in the past hour, did the President tweet out, “Vote-by-mail ballots in my home state of FLORIDA begin going out TODAY! Make sure to request yours, fill it out & send it in”?

MS. MCENANY: The President has always made the distinction that absentee ballots — where you go through a process, where you request a ballot and you mail that in — that is a system that works.

{snip}

Q So these ballots — these ballots are going out. If the President does win, will he still think it was rigged and fraudulent?

MS. MCENANY: I’ve already answered this question.

Yes.

Q Kayleigh, the President’s niece filed a lawsuit in New York State court today, alleging that the President and two of his siblings cheated her out of millions and squeezed her out of the family business, and we were hoping to get a reaction from the White House.

MS. MCENANY: Yeah, the only fraud committed there was Mary Trump recording one of her relatives, and she has really discredited herself.

Yes.

{snip}

Q And on another note: Today, at the Supreme Court, when the President approached — you know, was paying his respects to Justice Ginsburg — there were some people in the crowd that started the chant to “respect her wishes,” to “uphold her wishes.” Do you have some thoughts on those chants, which also, you know, included “Vote him out”?

MS. MCENANY: Yeah, I think the chants were appalling, but certainly to be expected when you’re in the heart of the swamp. I travel with the President all across the country — Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Florida, and Nevada — and everywhere we go, the streets are lined with support like I don’t think any other President has had previously.

But with regard to precedent, as I’ve noted before, 29 times has an appointment been made in an election year — 29 times. And that was all 29 times when there was a vacancy at hand. So the precedent is very much on our side here.

And I would also note the hypocrisy of Democrats. Joe Biden saying, “I would go forward with a confirmation process as chairman, even a few months before an election.” Barack Obama saying, “Fill the Supreme Court vacancy,” when it was his tenure. And you had Kamala Harris saying, as well, that “Senate GOP is holding SCOTUS hostage for political gain. Join me & call on them to consider [President Obama’s] nominee.”

So they’ve really flipped here, because the precedent is on our side and their hypocrisy is on full display.

Yes.

Q The former number two of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Paul Selva, who served under President Trump — he and 500 other national security and military leaders, they endorsed Joe Biden today. Do you guys have a comment on that, given that it doesn’t seem like Jim Mattis and Joe Dunford, who also served under the President, are rushing to support him in this election?

MS. MCENANY: Yeah, I think the President’s record speaks for itself. Our military men and women, our veterans love this President for a very distinct reason. Under Obama-Biden, sequestration really gutted our military. You had the Navy at its smallest point ever, and the other military branches were absolutely gutted. Then you had President Trump who came in and secured a record amount of funding for our military and our Department of Defense and built up our military.

When it comes to veterans, the appalling way that our veterans were treated at the VA under Obama-Biden — there was an IG report that as many as 300,000 veterans — think about that — 300,000 veterans could have died waiting for care.

This President came in, put in the VA MISSION Act, secured real choice and options for our veterans, and that’s the reason that the military and our veterans love this President.

Q But why is Selva endorsing Joe Biden?

MS. MCENANY: I can’t speak to one person’s reasoning. But this President, when you look at what he’s done — bringing our troops home and all he’s done in aggregate — the rank and file in this military love this President.

Yes.

Q Thanks, Kayleigh. Two quick follow-ups on what’s been discussed earlier. Does the President still have confidence in the FDA Commissioner based on his comments yesterday?

MS. MCENANY: There are no changes. Dr. Hahn is FDA Commissioner. So, yes.

Q And then to follow up, you said that you thought the chants outside the Supreme Court this morning were appalling. Is there any issue with people peaceably demonstrating and chanting at the President?

MS. MCENANY: No, of course. Everyone has a First Amendment in this country, but I thought it was an appalling and disrespectful thing to do as the President honored Justice Ginsburg.

Yes.

{snip}

In 2016, you had 1 percent of ballots thrown out — absentee ballots — that amounted to 319,000 votes thrown out. And if you have the entirety of the country voting by mail, you can imagine that number would be many folds higher than that.

And you look just in the primary, where you’ve seen states try to move to this mass mail-in system. There were 100,000 ballots rejected in California. In New York City, one in five mail-in ballots were rejected. And as a former DOJ voting rights official said, “It’s nuts. That is just way too high,” when one in five voters, because of mass mail-in voting, have their ballots thrown out.

Yes.

Q You said it’s the whole country. Obviously, it’s only the states though. Right, Kayleigh?

MS. MCENANY: Chanel.

Q Thank you, Kayleigh. Yesterday, the Senate released an 87-page report on Hunter Biden and Joe Biden’s dealings across the board of Ukraine and with Russia. Specifically, it showed Hunter Biden supporting Russian prostitution, human trafficking, receiving $3.5 million from Moscow.

The question to you is: Does the White House have any intention of helping the DOJ should an investigation be opened up on the Bidens?

And number two: Do you have a response to Rudy Giuliani yesterday telling us that this should immediately disqualify Joe Biden from his candidacy?

{snip}

END 1:44 P.M. EDT

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