President Donald Trump's latest White House Press Secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, took the podium on Tuesday to defend her boss against reports that he didn't act on intelligence that Russian officials offered bounties to Taliban militants to kill U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan.
The Times reported that at least one official said the intelligence in Trump's daily briefing on February 27 of this year, and other reports cite national intelligence officials who say the President was briefed on it as early as 2019—before Trump began considering Russia's readmission to the G-7 Summit and before he considered negotiating with the Taliban in September of 2019.
These reports contradict claims made by the White House, which insists that the President was never briefed on the matter. For his part, Trump disputed the veracity of the reports on Russia's actions all together, despite confirmation from multiple other outlets.
Trump is known for not reading his daily briefings, preferring instead to get oral summaries.
One White House correspondent asked McEnany why the President wasn't reading his intelligence briefings and why he didn't know about Russia's efforts.
Press Sec. Kayleigh McEnany: "This President is the most informed person on planet Earth when it comes to the threa… https://t.co/lRtiodBrea— The Hill (@The Hill)1593547362.0
"The President does read, and he also consumes intelligence verbally. This President, I'll tell you, is the most informed person on planet Earth when it comes to the threats that we face...He's constantly being informed and briefed on intelligence matters."
The Press Secretary also cited his relationship with national security advisor Robert O'Brien, with whom she said the President corresponds multiple times a day.
People brought receipts as to why this was not the case.
The White House @PressSec said today: “the President is the most informed person on plant earth when it comes to th… https://t.co/6DZ6HfTzuH— David Begnaud (@David Begnaud)1593549087.0
.@PressSec Kayeligh McEnany just called the guy who posted a video of an old bigot shouting WHITE POWER to his Twit… https://t.co/iZmXnkrJhn— JeremyNewberger (@JeremyNewberger)1593548568.0
Yesterday @PressSec said the President was never briefed on Russia bounty program. Today @PressSec says… https://t.co/UjHNcWIr17— Joe Lockhart (@Joe Lockhart)1593548324.0
@kylegriffin1 The most informed person on planet earth would have been informed about this threat when it was first… https://t.co/Rg9gjI0RvD— DiDi (@DiDi)1593548664.0
“This president is the most informed person on planet Earth in terms of the threats that we face.” — WH press secr… https://t.co/60Pn2R9vgK— Bart King🦔 (@Bart King🦔)1593548696.0
Numerous people found the claim downright laughable.
@atrupar I would have laughed if I were sitting there. A big snorting laugh.— Cindy 🌺 (@Cindy 🌺)1593551897.0
@atrupar She stole this one from SNL!— RATHER INCOGNITO (I was a foot for so long) (@RATHER INCOGNITO (I was a foot for so long))1593552028.0
@atrupar Wish the entire press corps had just burst into loud, uncontrollable, cathartic hysterical laughter— wotsitblahblahblah (@wotsitblahblahblah)1593552206.0
Her assurance that the President does, in fact, read raised some eyebrows as well.
Reached the point where Trump’s @PressSec actually says from the podium in the WH..”The President does read.” Laugh or sob uncontrollably?— Claire McCaskill (@Claire McCaskill)1593550815.0
The White House press Secretary just announced that the President of the United States “does read.” This is really… https://t.co/LEBrqfHIVX— Palmer Report (@Palmer Report)1593547864.0
The President's insists he was not informed.