White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany refused to say that President Donald Trump has “never lied to the public” during a tense exchange with CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta.
Acosta questioned McEnany at Thursday’s White House briefing over Trump’s feud with Twitter after the social media giant fact-checked his false claims about voting by mail.
“Shouldn’t the president be fact-checked, especially this president, who has made so many false and misleading statements that he has put fact-checkers to work across the world,” Acosta said. “I mean he’s uttered some 18,000 false or misleading statements, according to the Washington Post.”
“If there’s any president out there who should be fact-checked, any political leader who should be fact-checked, isn’t it President Trump? And aren’t you trying to silence fact-checking by going after Twitter like this?” Acosta asked.
“Well first I would say I disagree with all, if not almost all, of those assertions that you’re making there, because look if you’re going to get into the fact-checking business, there’s no one that should be fact-checked more than the mainstream media,” McEnany said, and gave several examples, from 2017 and 2018, of reporting that turned out not to be accurate.
“But Kayleigh, the news outlets that make mistakes from time to time, we own up to this mistakes, we correct them,” Acosta said, to which McEnany shot back “Not always, I have many you guys haven’t owned up to.”
“We do want a regular basis, the president never owns up to any of his false or misleading statements or outright lies,” Acosta said, then reminded McEnany that “You have pledged, in his briefing room, to never lie to the American people.”
“Are you saying that the president of the United States has never lied to the public before?” Acosta asked.
“I’m around the president, his intent is always to give truthful information to the American people,” she said before returning to citing examples of media reports that she found inaccurate.