White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Monday denied that its memo shared with news outlets criticizing Dr. Anthony Fauci’s past comments was the result of opposition research against the nation’s top infectious disease expert.
On Sunday, the White House sent news outlets a list of Fauci’s past comments regarding the coronavirus that later turned out to be inaccurate. An unnamed White House aide said in a statement that “several” White House officials are “concerned about the number of times Dr. Fauci has been wrong on things,” according to reports in the Washington Post, NBC News and CNN.
When pressed by CNN’s Jim Acosta during a briefing on why the White House decided to discredit Fauci by sending out opposition research-like memos to reporters citing an unnamed official, McEnany flat out denied that there is any opposition research “being dumped to reporters.”
McEnany said that the Post, which first broke the news, asked a “very specific” question about Trump noting that Fauci “had made some mistakes.” The White House press secretary then argued that “we provided a direct answer to what was a direct question.”
Asked again why the White House sent a memo to reporters citing an unnamed official — given the President has previously said that he doesn’t trust anonymous sources and has also made mistakes, such as suggesting that the public inject themselves with disinfectants to treat COVID-19 — McEnany said that Trump “stands by the actions and the steps he has taken in this historic response.”
McEnany added that Fauci has said “that the record of this president is impressive” and that he “can’t imagine that under any circumstance that anybody could be doing more.”
McEnany reiterated that the White House “provided a direct response to a direct question” and that the notion of it launching opposition research against Fauci “couldn’t be further from the truth.”
“Dr. Fauci and the President have always had a good working relationship,” McEnany said.
Watch McEnany’s remarks below:
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany denies any oppo research against Fauci pic.twitter.com/eimxgmL3DT
— Talking Points Memo (@TPM) July 13, 2020