Kayleigh McEnany Trips Over Dual Roles As She Tiptoes Around Hatch Act In Fox Appearance

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 21: White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany listens to U.S. President Donald Trump speak to reporters during a press conference in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House July 21, ... WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 21: White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany listens to U.S. President Donald Trump speak to reporters during a press conference in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House July 21, 2020 in Washington, DC. Trump focused on his administration's handling of the global coronavirus pandemic. Poll numbers about his handling of COVID-19 have been falling as cases of the deadly virus have spiked across the country. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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November 12, 2020 10:26 a.m.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, who has recently appeared as a Trump campaign adviser, tripped over her dual roles during a Fox News interview on Thursday in a move that highlights how she and other government officials have often toed the line between politics and government in the Trump White House. 

“Fox & Friends” host Brian Kilmeade glossed over the potential conflict of the press secretary’s “dual role” when he announced her appearance on the show.

“Here she’s on as the Trump 2020 campaign adviser,” Kilmeade said in an apparent effort to rebuff potential backlash fas McEnany — a government official — touted Trump’s campaign.

Yet, even after clarifying her capacity on the show, the hosts immediately prodded McEnany on White House matters.

When asked about reports that President-elect Joe Biden has been refused access to key resources and information during the transition of power, McEnany punted.

“That would be a question more for the White House,” McEnany said, skirting an issue that she would be expected to readily answer as a top White House communications official. She then zig-zagged across her conflicting positions by quickly adding: “But I will say that all laws are being followed with regard to an expected transition.”

McEnany’s apparent desire to have it both ways — vouching for the campaign and sharing White House information when it suits efforts to advance a campaign message — is just the latest example of how the Trump White House has trampled on a precedent to keep politics and government separate.

The issue became especially apparent in August when President Trump announced that the Republican National Convention would take place at the White House, making the South Lawn a backdrop to his acceptance speech of the Republican nomination. A number of government officials vouched for the President’s reelection bid in video clips aired over the course of that week in a move that likely violated the Hatch Act which bans most government employees from political activity.

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