May 1, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Kayleigh McEnany holds first White House press briefing in over a year

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany holds her first on-camera news conference.

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Trump's new press secretary Kayleigh McEnany held her first White House briefing on Friday, the first official press briefing since March 11, 2019.

Driving the news: McEnany announced that she plans to continue holding on-camera press briefings moving forward, a regular practice that ended during Sarah Sanders' tenure. Stephanie Grisham, McEnany's predecessor, did not hold a single briefing.

  • "I will never lie to you. You have my word on that," McEnany promised reporters.

The highlights: McEnany announced that the Trump administration will provide $12 billion to 395 hospitals across the country that have been hardest hit by the coronavirus. New York, New Jersey, and Illinois will receive the most money.

  • On China’s coronavirus response: McEnany said Trump's assertion that the coronavirus originated in a Wuhan lab is consistent with what analysts think, though the intelligence community said this week that its origin is still under investigation.
  • On the sexual assault allegation against Joe Biden: "We are pleased with the former vice president to go on the record," she said.
  • On Michael Flynn: When asked whether Trump still believes his former national security adviser lied to the FBI and Vice President Mike Pence in light of new documents released this week, McEnany said: "I would point you to the vice president's statement, that he is implying to believe that Flynn did not mislead him." Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI in 2017, though he has been attempting to withdraw that plea.
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