White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Tuesday defended President Trump’s retweet that criticized former Vice President Joe Biden for wearing a mask on Memorial Day.
When asked about the President retweeting Fox News commentator Brit Hume’s criticism of Biden’s mask-wearing during his first in-person event in months on Monday, McEnany sarcastically replied that Trump is “excited to see” that the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee “emerged from the basement.”
McEnany then confusingly argued that it is “a bit peculiar” that Biden has not worn a mask during recent virtual appearances with his wife that have been recorded in his basement.
“He’s not wearing a mask but he’s wearing one outdoors when he’s socially distant,” McEnany said. “So I think there was discrepancy there.”
McEnany added that Trump is “not shaming anyone” and pointed out that Trump claimed to wear a mask in private while visiting a Ford facility outside of Detroit last week.
After McEnany said that the President would be “open to it if the circumstance mandates it,” a reporter pointed out that the CDC’s guidance recommends wearing masks outside.
“The guidance is recommended but not required,” McEnany said. “It’s the personal choice of the individual, but it didn’t strike him as a very data-driven decision in that particular incidence.”
Shortly after Tuesday’s White House briefing, Biden campaign director of rapid response Andrew Bates told TPM in a statement that Trump’s “historic disregard” for the guidance of public health experts is responsible for a “failed response” to the COVID-19 pandemic as the country nears 100,000 fatalities and continues suffering from devastating job losses.
“Joe Biden will continue to provide the leadership that Donald Trump has failed to throughout this crisis — because the starkest difference between them is that Joe Biden actually cares about people,” Bates said in the statement.
Watch McEnany’s remarks below:
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany says it's "peculiar" that Biden didn't wear a mask in his basement pic.twitter.com/yc1tqXGg8n
— Talking Points Memo (@TPM) May 26, 2020