McEnany: I only said Trump was racist because 'I was watching CNN'

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Press secretary Kayleigh McEnany once called Donald Trump 'racist' and said that the party supporting him was 'unfortunate' and 'inauthentic.'

On Friday, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany blamed 2015 comments she made describing Donald Trump as racist and hateful on CNN's reporting.

"I was watching CNN and I was naively believing some of the headlines that I saw on CNN," McEnany told reporters. She noted that she went on to be hired as a pundit by CNN and in that capacity extolled Trump's virtues.

In 2015, when McEnany appeared on CNN as a pundit, she said his statement at the launch of his presidential campaign that Mexican immigrants are rapists was "racist."

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"To me, a racist statement is a racist statement. I don't like what Donald Trump said," she said. She also said his comments were "derogatory" and "hateful."

McEnany also said at the time, "Donald Trump has shown himself to be a showman, I don't think he is a serious candidate."

"The fact that the Republican Party is now having to claim him is both unfortunate, and, to me, inauthentic," McEnany said in another appearance.

From the April 8 White House press briefing:

YAMICHE ALCINDOR, PBS: In 2015, shortly after the president said that some Mexican immigrants were rapists and criminals, you said that that language was racist and hateful. Do you still believe that today?

 

KAYLEIGH MCENANY: Well, I'm actually glad you asked that, because for about the first four weeks of the election, I was watching CNN and I was naively believing some of the headlines that I saw on CNN.

 

ALCINDOR: It's okay if you want to read headlines, it's fine. I also just want to know if you personally still believe that.

 

MCENANY: I'm actually not going to read the headlines. So, I very quickly came around to supporting the president. In fact, CNN hired me. I was on many 8-on-1 panels where I proudly supported this president, who I believe is one of the best presidents, if not the best president, this country will ever have. But I would encourage the individual who did that analysis of my past, rather than focusing on me, he really should be focused on some of the very guests CNN chose to have on their network.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.