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Journos lose it over Kayleigh McEnany’s ‘off the rails’ mic drop ending to Monday’s briefing

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White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany ripped into the media during a wild press conference on Monday for their repeated questions regarding a tweet in which President Donald Trump said NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace should “apologize” for the recent noose “hoax.”

“I would end with this. I was asked probably 12 questions about the Confederate Flag. This president is focused on action. I’m a little dismayed that I didn’t receive one question on the deaths this weekend. I didn’t receive one question about New York City shootings doubling for the third straight week, and over the last seven days, shootings skyrocket by 142 percent. Not one question,” McEnany noted.

She then chastised reporters for remaining fixated on the president’s tweet while ignoring more important issues such as the rapidly accelerating homicide rates for blacks — especially black children — in the larger context of the Black Lives Matter movement.

“I didn’t receive one question about five children who were killed. I will leave you with this remark by a dad. It broke my heart. A death of an 8-year-old loss in Atlanta this weekend. ‘They say, Black Lives Matter? You killed the child, she didn’t do nothing to nobody,’ was his quote,” she continued.

“We need to be focused on securing our streets, making sure no lives are lost, because all Black Lives Matter. That of David Dorn, and that of this 8-year-old girl,” said, in reference to the retired St. Louis Police captain who was shot and killed last month amid rioting in that city as he responded to an alarm at a pawn shop.

Reporters repeatedly badgered McEnany with the same question: Why Wallace — who hyped the ultimately false story that a “noose” had been intentionally placed in his garage space last month ahead of a race at Talladega Superspeedway — needed to express a mea culpa.

McEnany explained a number of times that the president simply meant that nearly everyone at NASCAR, including top management and most drivers as well as the media, leapt to the conclusion that the noose, which was dangling at the end of a rope used to pull down a stall door at the racetrack and had been hanging there for months, was meant as a racial insult to Wallace.

They also peppered her with questions about the president’s remark that NASCAR’s decision — at Wallace’s insistence — to ban all Confederate flags from racing events has caused low ratings for the sport.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1280117571874951170

To illustrate her point, she referenced the phony ‘hate crime’ conjured up last year by actor Jussie Smollett in which most mainstream media outlets immediately bought into the former “Empire” star’s story that Trump-supporting whites had attacked him in Chicago early one morning.

Reporters were furious with McEnany and vented their rage online.

https://twitter.com/AaronBlake/status/1280197002916233218

That said, NASCAR chief Steve Phelps admitted to reporters Monday that he and league officials jumped to conclusions.

“Upon learning of and seeing the noose, our initial reaction was to protect our driver. We’re living in a highly charged and emotional time. What we saw was a symbol of hate and was only present in one area of the garage, that of the 43 car of Bubba Wallace,” Phelps said.

“In hindsight, we should have — I should have — used the word ‘alleged’ in our statement,” he added. “…[T]here has been discussion and criticism of how this was handled and characterized. Some feel that the phrasing or words used were not right. That comes with the territory. And I will take full responsibility for that, and for the emotion that was attached to it.”

Shortly after the noose was found — and before the FBI sent 15 agents to investigate — Phelps characterized the incident as a “despicable act of racism and hatred.”

Jon Dougherty

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