White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany read a brief, terse statement late Thursday afternoon condemning the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol carried out by supporters of President Donald Trump.
“The violence we saw yesterday at our nation’s Capitol was appalling, reprehensible, and antithetical to the American way,” McEnany said. “We condemn it — the president and this administration — in the strongest possible terms. It is unacceptable. And those that broke the law, should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
McEnany appeared to argue that the thousands of people who stormed the Capitol were nothing more than a tiny constituency.
“What we saw yesterday was a group of violent rioters undermining the legitimate First Amendment rights of the many thousands who peacefully came to have their voices heard in our nation’s Capitol.”
McEnany spent roughly 90 seconds reading the statement before she fled the podium — setting off a firestorm among the White House press corps, with what sounded like more than a dozen reporters screaming to have their questions heard.
“But where is the president?!” ABC’s Jon Karl said.
“The president spurred them on!” Playboy correspondent Brian Karem added.
Reporters are visibly frustrated as WH Press Sec. Kayleigh McEnany takes no questions about the violence she claims the White House condemns.
"Did the President egg them on?" pic.twitter.com/plhFa92u6g
— The Recount (@therecount) January 7, 2021
Among the many shouted questions that she ignored: "Where's the president?" https://t.co/gPHKZHdTok
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) January 7, 2021
.@PressSec comes out for 60 seconds & criticizes yesterday's violence: "We condemn it." She calls it "appalling," says people should be prosecuted & promises an "orderly transition." Then she RAN from the podium & took no questions. It took more than a DAY for this condemnation. pic.twitter.com/0AZDfuOszh
— David Corn (@DavidCornDC) January 7, 2021