Former White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, who was recently hired as a Fox News contributor, said Monday that she warned the media in her final days that soon-to-be President Joe Biden would be a no show when it came to interacting with them.
Appearing for the first time as a network contributor on The Story, McEnany was asked to comment on her successor, White House press secretary Jen Psaki running interference for the 78-year-old president essentially missing in action.
Referencing former President Donald Trump’s last days in office, where reporters took notice that he wasn’t engaging with them as often, McEnany said she warned the press corps to get used to that under Biden.
“I actually warned some of the reporters there in the press corps,” she said. “In the waning days of the Trump administration, he didn’t do as much press availabilities every day as he walked to [Marine One] or those press conferences.”
“I said to the correspondents, ‘You’re getting a little taste of what it will be like in the Biden administration,'” she continued. “I said I wouldn’t expect to see much of him — we haven’t. We’re still waiting on that solo press conference, we’re still waiting for the day, apparently by the end of the month.
Trump frequently engaged with the media, even taking fire sometimes from the right for doing so, and McEnany said the media missed that in the end — the former president always told them they would miss him when he’s gone.
“The reporters got used to transparency, accessibility, jousting back and forth with the president. They miss it quite a bit,” she said.
President Biden has gone longer than his last 15 predecessors without holding a solo press conference and there’s still no date for his first State of the Union address, though the president will deliver his first primetime address Thursday to mark the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 shutdown.
The White House has downplayed Biden’s lack of a press conference, claiming he has taken questions from reporters in informal settings — 40 such questions, according to Psaki, who argues that Biden is laser-focused on the COVID-19 pandemic.
“His focus day in and day out is on getting the pandemic under control and putting people back to work. That’s what people elected him to do,” Psaki said recently.
There is no date yet for a State of the Union address, which takes place before a joint session of Congress. Here too, the press secretary falls back on the pandemic to say it could look different this year.
“We certainly intend on the president delivering a joint session speech, not a State of the Union, in the first year that they are in office,” Psaki said on Friday. “But we don’t have a date for that or a timeline at this point in time.”
Turning the focus to the crisis on the southern border, which is being overrun again by illegal immigrants drawn by Biden’s policies that incentivize them.
“I think the first step to fixing a problem is acknowledging that problem,” McEnany said. “We know in 2014 when the numbers were not as bad as they are now in terms of apprehensions, Biden called it a crisis then. In 2019, they called it a crisis on President Trump’s watch when the numbers weren’t as bad. What we’re seeing is a 700% increase of kids, this is extraordinary. If he won’t call it a crisis, I’m not too surprised he’s not reviewed the findings of his team.”
Making matters worse, the Biden administration is “releasing” Covid positive illegal immigrants into the country, she added.
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