Like former President Donald Trump's other three White House Press Secretaries, Kayleigh McEnany's tenure in the Trump administration was defined by her willingness to amplify Trump's lies from a national podium.
Trump's lies that Democrats stole the 2020 election from him were no different. McEnany not only defended these lies in her professional capacity, but amplified them in GOP press conferences as well, in a likely violation of the Hatch Act.
As history will remember, these lies eventually prompted a mob of pro-Trump extremists to storm the United States Capitol in hopes of overturning the election in Trump's favor. Their actions resulted in the deaths of five people and endangered every lawmaker in the building.
This week, the conservative Fox News channel announced that McEnany would be joining the network as a contributor.
In one of her first appearances, McEnany claimed that Trump and his administration were expecting nothing but peaceful demonstrations that day.
"At the beginning of the day, before everyone went to the rally, everyone was expecting peace. We'd been to hundreds of rallies ... and they were nothing but peaceful events, and we expected that day to be the same. And then as those events transpired it was disbelief, shock, somber, sad horrified by the violence. It was a very hard, difficult day in the White House, there is no doubt."
In reality, Trump waited hours to denounce the violence and even longer before telling his supporters to vacate the Capitol. Reports emerged in the days following that Trump was downright gleeful to see the chaos he'd instigated. The former President mocked House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) as he begged for assistance.
For this reason, CNN anchor Brianna Keilar—famous for routinely calling out the lies of GOP officials—wasn't buying McEnany's characterization of the events.
"Shock, disbelief? No. Everyone was not expecting peace, as she claims... the potential threat was an open secret."… https://t.co/CSmQl7zKTS— CNN Newsroom (@CNN Newsroom) 1614717493.0
In a lengthy rebuttal of McEnany's claims, Keilar said:
"When the grenade that you've been helping build for months finally explodes in your face, that is just inevitable."
Keilar pointed out warnings from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) ahead of the riots that pro-Trump extremists would unleash "war" upon D.C. What's more, CNN covered the extensive security preparations ahead of the demonstrations Trump had promoted.
Keilar then pointed to McEnany's own culpability:
"And what did Kayleigh McEnany expect would happen when she personally and baselessly alleged for months before the election that there were widespread problems with the election and pushed the 'big lie' for two months after Election Day?"
People praised the CNN anchor for the segment.
Brianna never misses https://t.co/tza9Op9jQx— Still I Rise (@Still I Rise) 1614731236.0
Excellent as always, @brikeilarcnn! Thank you! https://t.co/8IrDRMXDkR— Fred Hoffman (@Fred Hoffman) 1614731133.0
Keilar is a goddess among us. https://t.co/Nv1MXYMTVw— AJW USA (@AJW USA) 1614782483.0
@CNNnewsroom @brikeilarcnn Brianna ALWAYS has the receipts!!— PFirrincili (@PFirrincili) 1614736558.0
@CNNnewsroom @brikeilarcnn Excellent work by @brikeilarcnn as usual!— Mike (@Mike) 1614724432.0
And she was far from the only one to push back against the claims.
@CNNnewsroom @brikeilarcnn How do you know when McEnany is lying? When she opens her mouth!!— Steven Bergel (@Steven Bergel) 1614720736.0
@HuffPost This insults the intelligence of anyone not a Fox viewer.— E. E. Cummings (@E. E. Cummings) 1614706988.0
@HuffPost Let the reputation cleansing parade begin. Don't forget that this woman had every opportunity to correct… https://t.co/FuqnTWvUVB— Frenchie (@Frenchie) 1614707108.0
@HuffPost No one was expecting peace...— Parker (@Parker) 1614711029.0
McEnany may be beloved in the Fox News sphere, but it doesn't seem like she'll be welcome in mainstream political circles for some time.