White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany joined the White House effort to gaslight us into thinking Donald Trump spends all day thinking about how to protect Americans rather than the obvious truth: that he spends much of his time watching television about himself with a break for his “press briefings.”
As Mediaite put it, the White House has been on a crusade to prove Trump is “too busy to watch news coverage he’s tweeting about.” It seems to be a response to a brutal report from The New York Times last week.
President Trump arrives in the Oval Office these days as late as noon, when he is usually in a sour mood after his morning marathon of television.
He has been up in the White House master bedroom as early as 5 a.m. watching Fox News, then CNN, with a dollop of MSNBC thrown in for rage viewing.
And he makes time to watch Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s briefings from New York, closely monitoring for a sporadic compliment or snipe.
At the end of the day, the Times reported, Trump goes back to watching TV: “[H]e flicks from channel to channel, reviewing his performance.”
He can’t be bothered with coronavirus task force meetings, either.
Mr. Trump rarely attends the task force meetings that precede the briefings, and he typically does not prepare before he steps in front of the cameras. He is often seeing the final version of the day’s main talking points that aides have prepared for him for the first time although aides said he makes tweaks with a Sharpie just before he reads them live. He hastily plows through them, usually in a monotone, in order to get to the question-and-answer bullying session with reporters that he relishes.
Trump responded to the report with a tweet somewhat proving the Times’ point.
I work from early in the morning until late at night, haven’t left the White House in many months (except to launch Hospital Ship Comfort) in order to take care of Trade Deals, Military Rebuilding etc., and then I read a phony story in the failing @nytimes about my work....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 26, 2020
Next came a PR effort to tell us that Trump is working hard, when he obviously isn’t. The Murdoch-owned New York Post published an article on Sunday called, “White House officials say Trump works so hard, he often misses lunch.” Never mind that one look at Trump tells you he’s a guy who doesn’t need to be reminded to eat.
The next day, McEnany visited America’s Newsroom. Coanchor Ed Henry made a pretense of asking a tough question but it was skepticism about the PR strategy, not about Trump’s work ethic.
Henry questioned McEnany about a quote from Chief of Staff Mark Meadows in the Post article, saying, “The biggest concern I have as new chief of staff is making sure the president gets some time, basically, for lunch.”
Henry asked, “I mean, we’re talking about people in this country right now. We all know the president’s busy. There are people making sure they have money for groceries, trying to get a job right now. Is this White House striking the right tone?”
McEnany responded by saying, “I think you need to put that quote into context.” Sound familiar?
She went on to say Meadows was asked “what his concern is day to day as he looks at the president’s schedule and he made the point that the president is so busy and so hard at work, his concern is making sure he gets a bite to eat here and there.” Actually, the article strongly implies Meadows was asked by the Post to respond to the Times article.
“So you’ve got to put that into context,” McEnany continued. “First of all, of course we are concerned with America’s workers. Of course, we are concerned for all of those who have lost loved ones. That is a preeminent concern of this White House. Make no mistake about it, that’s why I watch this president get up early in the morning and work into late into the evening, to ensure to that end, American workers get paid and American lives are protected.”
There’s one big problem with the picture of Trump McEnany painted. It doesn’t go with the reality we can all see. The Washington Post crunched some numbers and reported on Sunday:
Trump has spoken for more than 28 hours in the 35 briefings held since March 16, eating up 60 percent of the time that officials spoke, according to a Washington Post analysis of annotated transcripts from Factba.se, a data analytics company.
Over the past three weeks, the tally comes to more than 13 hours of Trump — including two hours spent on attacks and 45 minutes praising himself and his administration, but just 4½ minutes expressing condolences for coronavirus victims. He spent twice as much time promoting an unproven antimalarial drug that was the object of a Food and Drug Administration warning Friday. Trump also said something false or misleading in nearly a quarter of his prepared comments or answers to questions, the analysis shows.
Henry didn’t mention any of that on Monday.
You can watch McEnany’s fake news version of Trump, undisputed by Henry, below, from the April 27, 2020 America’s Newsroom.
“This guy is a joke. Fox needs to get rid of him.”
“This dude should go to CNN like.chris Juan Jessica etc”
“Why the hell is Ed Henry saying ‘We need to be serious’ when McEnany talks about Pelosi’s complete disregard of the American people…. Even Fox News is leaning to the left more and more. Sad.”
“Fox is sounding more like CNN every day!”
“Fox needs to change the slogan ’America’s Newsroom’ to America’s Total B.S. Channel”
“Thought I accidentally tuned into CNN there for a moment 🤭”
“This guy for Fox is another fake news agenda pusher”
“Fox is ‘dead to me’. They’ve totally gone to the other side’.”
“This Lady reporter told him the truth about Ed Henry about Ed’s lover Nancy pelosi.”
The only thing I’ll add regards Trump’s White House schedule.
I read a couple of days ago reporters looking at Trump’s schedule determined he doesn’t go to work until around noon. Maybe that’s why he misses lunch, if that’s even true. Anyway, they went on to report sources told them he’s watching cable news up until he starts his day and in the evening (6-ish?) starts watching cable new again and ropes staffers into joining him for additional emotional support.