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Stunned viewers sprang into debate earlier Tuesday when a tense back-and-forth between White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany and a reporter appeared to catch the correspondent insulting the press secretary under her breath.
McEnany appears to have been responding to a question about what the Trump administration has done to ensure a smooth election in November when she references an op-ed published in The Wall Street Journal lamenting New York City’s “mail-vote disaster,” in which the editorial board noted that ballots still have not been completely counted nearly a month after elections, leaving outcomes in doubt.
As part of her response, McEnany cites data from the WSJ editorial, prompting the reporter to interrupt.
“There are questions about mass mail-out voting and, I know you don’t want to hear them which is why you talk over me, but I encourage you to read the op-ed,” the White House spokeswoman says.
The reporter continues to try to ask another question, but McEnany shuts her down, saying she got to ask two already “which is more than most of your colleagues.”
At that, the female reporter appears to glare at McEnany, when the still-open mic catches her muttering something under her breath that quickly sparked a Twitter debate.
This just happened, this reporter called WH Press Secretary Mcenany, a lying bitch. These are the type of people this administration has to put up with and it’s getting old. @POTUS pic.twitter.com/ggGH7o8WCy
— Charles Benedict (@Charles52631252) July 21, 2020
Others, heard her unprofessionally mutter: “You don’t want to engage.” (After she had engaged.)
This is rapidly becoming the new Yanny vs Laurel
I hear “You don’t wanna engage” https://t.co/ChAXXV8at1
— Jack Posobiec (@JackPosobiec) July 21, 2020
Horrible! So disrespectful!
Let’s get rid of the press and have the American people ask the questions.
— L Kona (@USAMomofboys) July 21, 2020
Whoa! Why hasn’t this person been expelled from the briefings? Or better yet, fired?
— SallySue (@SallySu67152571) July 21, 2020
shows how effective she is. they are losing their minds.
— Keith W. Preston (@KeithWpreston) July 21, 2020
@SimonettiSource wow! Look at the disrespect! And you know she won’t get her credentials taken away like oan.
— Matthew Klein (@mklein176) July 21, 2020
As for the mail-in ballot mess in New York, the WSJ editorial laid the blame squarely at the feet of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who signed the order in March forcing nursing homes in the state to accept coronavirus-infected patients despite older Americans being far more susceptible to contracting the virus and dying.
Usually New York’s absentee ballots need a stamp, but Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an order in May requiring that for the June election voters “be provided with a postage paid return envelope.” That’s a problem, the lawsuit says, because the U.S. Postal Service “does not traditionally postmark prepaid envelopes.” Despite reported USPS assurances that it would handle election mail correctly, the suit claims thousands of ballots arrived in time to be counted yet lack the necessary postmark.
Unofficial early data suggest that ballot rejection rates for the 12th District could hit 19% in Queens and Manhattan and 28% in Brooklyn. The lawsuit asks that ballots be considered valid if they arrived by June 30, postmark or no. Inevitably, though, this would create the opposite error: Counting truly invalid ballots that were mailed after Election Day.
Long-serving New York Rep. Caroline Maloney is being challenged by progressive Suraj Patel, the latter of whom has signed onto a lawsuit filed Friday that alleges “an election law snafu” might “disenfranchise a massive number of voters.”
During an appearance on MSNBC, Patel alleged “voter suppression is a real thing,” even in the Democratic Party. In response, Maloney invoked President Donald Trump — long a critic of mail-in balloting — by calling Patel’s charge “a cynical abuse of voter confidence” that comes from Trump’s “playbook.”
Nevertheless, problems and issues with mail-in balloting are increasing.
At the same press conference, Playboy magazine White House correspondent Brian Karem screamed at McEnany to “put on a mask” as she left the podium and exited the briefing room.
“Hey Kayleigh put on a mask!” @realDonaldTrump @PressSec pic.twitter.com/JKXZ4IBO39
— Brian J. Karem (@BrianKarem) July 21, 2020
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