Kaylee McEnany is new in her job as White House press flack but she’s got the Donald John Trump media-baiting rap down pat.
During a press briefing today, she chided reporters who she said were looking for reasons to talk Americans out of going to church in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
McEnany got some immediate push back from a reporter who objected out loud to her crass retort. “I go to church,” the reporter shouted back at her, telling her he wants to know why Donald Trump is insisting Americans flock to houses of worship even though the COVID-19 infection rates in many states is still climbing.
McEnany earned her media-bashing spurs, I suppose, from her time on Fox News. But whatever. I’ll move on.
Donald Trump, who barely has a passing acquaintance with matters of faith, is now saying he will “override” governors who resist his demand that they lift church-going restrictions.
Nice try, Mr. POTUS … but you don’t have the authority to override governors. The president doesn’t have the authority even to order churches to open in the first place. That First Amendment matter protecting religion — along with the press — from government intrusion gets in the way.
This constant baiting of the media is getting tiresome and distressing in the extreme. The White House press secretary by all rights is supposed to build a healthy professional relationship with the men and women who cover the White House and report their findings to the public.
Insulting them, flinging childish rejoinders does no good.
McEnany, though, is appealing to Donald Trump’s “base,” which I am certain is a major part of the duty she assumed when she signed on as press flack.