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Fox News reporter John Roberts criticized White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Thursday for refusing to provide a "definitive and unambiguous" statement condemning white supremacist groups on behalf of President Trump, arguing that she deflected by only pointing to his past statements.

Why it matters: Roberts pointed out that despite McEnany's insinuation that the media is over-exaggerating the controversy over President Trump telling the far-right Proud Boys to "stand back and stand by" at Tuesday's debate, a number of Trump's Republican allies have urged the president to clarify and unequivocally denounce white supremacy.

What he's saying: "If the president didn't know who Proud Boys were, and Joe Biden just threw out the name — if he didn't know who they were, why did he denounce them?" asked a visibly frustrated Roberts.

  • "Why didn't he say, 'I don't know who they are. Can you give me a little bit more information about them,' and then make a decision about it? So this all remains very puzzling."
  • "And for all of you on Twitter who are hammering me for asking that question, I don't care. Because it's a question that needs to be asked, and clearly the president's Republican colleagues a mile away from here are looking for an answer for it too. So stop deflecting. Stop blaming the media. I'm tired of it."

Go deeper: McEnany spars with reporters over whether Trump condemned white supremacy

Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
Jan 5, 2021 - Politics & Policy

A tense, tectonic 48 hours

A stage goes up on the Ellipse yesterday ahead of tomorrow's pro-Trump rally. Photo: Susan Walsh/AP

The next two days look to be the most tumultuous and telling of the wild, never-ending 2020 election.

Driving the news: Twin runoffs in Georgia today determine control of the U.S. Senate. And perhaps half or more of the Republicans in Congress will cast an unprecedented number of votes to invalidate President-elect Biden’s clear win, as the House and Senate meet to certify the Electoral College votes.

43 mins ago - World

Pope Francis denounces European governments' migrant response

Pope Francis adresses refugees at the Reception and Identification Centre (RIC) in Mytilene on the island of Lesbos on Sunday. Photo: Louisa Gouliamaki/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Pope Francis criticized European countries' response to migrants and asylum seekers during his visit to a refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos Sunday.

Why it matters: The pope said "migration is a humanitarian crisis that concerns everyone," but little had changed in the global response to displaced peoples since his first visit to Lesbos five years ago, per a transcript of his remarks. "Human lives, real people, are at stake. ... let us stop this shipwreck of civilization!"

Chris Cuomo accuser: On-air "hypocrisy" spurred report

Journalist Chris Cuomo. Photo: Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images

A woman who accused fired CNN journalist Chris Cuomo of sexual misconduct said Sunday she decided to come forward after learning of his comments about women who made similar accusations about his brother. He denies her allegations.

Why it matters: Her attorney Debra Katz said in a statement that she heard "the hypocrisy" of his on-air words about his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and was "disgusted by his efforts to try to discredit these women," so "retained counsel to report his serious sexual misconduct against her to CNN."