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Trump administration spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany said Tuesday the White House Correspondents Association should launch an investigation into behaviors demonstrated by Playboy correspondent Brian Karem over his “demeaning, misogynistic questions.”
McEnany, in an interview with “Fox & Friends,” was responding to media reports praising Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden for selecting an all-female communications team.
Co-host Ainsley Earhart cited an Associated Press report noting that “four of the seven top communications roles at the [Biden] White House will be filled by women of color, and it’s the first time the entire senior White House communications team will be entirely female.”
Earhart went on to note that McEnany and others in the Trump administration’s communications shop responded to those reports by saying the president has also chosen several women to fill those roles.
Quoting Judd Deere, a male staffer on the current White House communications team, Earhart said, “‘Since I arrived at the Trump White House, a woman has always been my boss. First, it was Hope Hicks, Mercedes Schlapp, and Sarah Sanders, then it was Stephanie Grisham, and of course, currently, it’s’” McEnany.
“‘I guess the media forgot,’” Earhart said, finishing Deere’s quote before asking McEnany to respond to reports in the media “saying you’re lying about it.”
After praising Deere, McEnany pointed out that “every senior role in the White House…is a female.”
“This president, out of the five press secretaries that have been women, three of them have been under President Trump,” she continued. “He appointed the first working mom in Sarah Sanders, then appointed another working mom, and then appointed me, with a newborn under the age of one.
“He’s consistently empowered women,” she added, accusing the establishment media of “a double standard” on the issue, which she described as “absolutely absurd.”
“If you’re Democrat woman who comes into the West Wing behind me, who takes that podium, your biggest concern outside of your official duties is the next glowing profile written about you,” McEnany continued.
“If you’re a female…in the Republican Party who takes that podium, guess what your worry is? Having a Playboy reporter shout questions at you, demeaning, misogynistic questions during a briefing,” McEnany explained.
“It’s a double standard, it’s one that’s ridiculous, and one that the White House Correspondents Association should look into when you have Playboy reporters shouting at women in a misogynistic manner simply because they’re a member of the GOP.”
After the AP and other outlets made the claim about Biden’s prospective female communications team, White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Matthews responded in a tweet, “The Trump admin’s comms team is entirely female-led.” She listed McEnany, communications Director Alyssa Farah, Vice Presidential Communications Director Katie Miller, the First Lady’s spokeswoman Grisham, and the Second Lady’s spokeswoman Kara Brooks.
“Apparently the achievements of GOP women don’t count in the eyes of the media,” she added.
As for Karem, he has had a number of controversial run-ins with the Trump administration.
Karem sued over the suspension; U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras, a Barack Obama appointee, ordered the White House to reissue the pass, the second time a court had done so. Earlier, then-White House press secretary Sanders pulled CNN correspondent Jim Acosta’s “hard pass.”
A year earlier, Karem yelled at Sanders regarding the administration’s zero-tolerance policy towards illegal immigration.
“Brian, settle down,” she said at the time. “I’m not going to have you yell out of turn.”
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