Trump's Press Secretary Tried to Give a First Amendment Lesson and The ACLU Fired Right Back With a Lesson of Their Own
President Donald Trump's latest White House Press Secretary—Kayleigh McEnany—has her work cut out for after the President's widely panned response to the unrest in response to the murder of George Floyd by police.
Despite the hundreds of thousands of peaceful protestors across the nation, the President has painted protestors as looters and "thugs" and his administration even tear gassed a protest outside of the White House in order to clear a path for him to take a photo with a bible.
In her attempt to change the narrative, McEnany took to the podium to turn the tables with a lesson about what the First Amendment of the Constitution does and does not afford Americans.
She offered it in tweet form as well.
The First Amendment doesn't give you the right to riot
It doesn't give the right to loot
It doesn't give the right to burn buildings down
It doesn't give the right to deface property
It doesn't give the right to assault
The First Amendment gives the right to peaceably assemble pic.twitter.com/4LlvICxeZX
— Kayleigh McEnany (@PressSec) June 3, 2020
As Kayleigh herself pointed out, the First Amendment gives Americans the right to peaceably assemble without fear of government retribution.
The American Civil Liberties Union made clear that this protection wasn't being upheld by the White House.
The First Amendment doesn't allow you to fire tear gas at protesters for a photo-op.
It doesn't allow you to spy on protesters.
It doesn't allow you to attack journalists.
It doesn't allow you to punish critics. https://t.co/eVBh2m6XT8
— ACLU (@ACLU) June 3, 2020
If you want to start preaching about the First Amendment, start with your boss.
— ACLU (@ACLU) June 3, 2020
The ACLU alluded to Trump's repeated intimidation of journalists who are critical of him, his firing of government officials who complied with congressionally approved subpoenas, and most recently his aggression toward peaceful protestors.
The President often attacks reporters on Twitter or at White House Press briefings. He fired Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman for testifying before Congress. On Monday, we saw firsthand the gas and flashbangs deployed onto protestors.
Others agreed that Trump's apathy toward the First Amendment is far more damaging.
@ACLU @m2254 The WH hasn't a clue what is in the Constitution. https://t.co/Pt6fDp4K2G— Monica Fraker (@Monica Fraker) 1591229678.0
@ACLU Thank you @ACLU The administration seems to skip the 5th Amendment as well...— Tess Feldman (@Tess Feldman) 1591234159.0
The ACLU weren't the only ones to call out Kayleigh.
@PressSec Correct. It also doesn’t give the right for law enforcement to beat and gas peaceful protestors for a mo… https://t.co/hjx97ASfS0— Andrew C Laufer, Esq (@Andrew C Laufer, Esq) 1591239894.0
@PressSec You're just despicable.— bob clendenin (@bob clendenin) 1591250444.0
@PressSec We went from a Press Sec that never spoke to the people to one that won't stop lying, gaslighting and cam… https://t.co/ncGacawJZM— JCStew (@JCStew) 1591273242.0
@PressSec No Amendment gives trump the right to tear gas innocent peaceful protesters. Nor push the military or the… https://t.co/6VnHIkeU86— Jamie Schler (@Jamie Schler) 1591247409.0
Protests around the nation continue.