The Slatest

Trump’s Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany Leaves White House a Few Days Early

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany leaves the podium after making a statement in the James Brady Press Briefing Room on January 7, 2021 in Washington, D.C.
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany leaves the podium after making a statement in the James Brady Press Briefing Room on January 7, 2021 in Washington, D.C. Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Kayleigh McEnany, President Donald Trump’s press secretary, has decided not to stick around until the end of the term and packed up her office Friday. Although she will continue officially holding the role, she will no longer be at the White House, or even in the nation’s capital. McEnany will reportedly be working remotely from Tampa until Wednesday.

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After some reports that she was leaving, McEnany sent out a tweet acknowledging that. “As I leave the White House, I have the privilege of reading notes from incredible servants to our country,” McEnany tweeted. Amid the packing up she also had time for one last tiff with a journalist, pushing back against a tweet from the New York Times’ Maggie Haberman, who first reported the news that McEnany was leaving the White House. Haberman had tweeted that “the last time McEnany responded to a question from me was when it was a story about herself.” The press secretary said that “with one exception, the last time she emailed me was July,” speculating that was because she “refused to be an anonymous source for her.”

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McEnany took on the job of press secretary in April from Stephanie Grisham, who served for nine months and didn’t hold a single news conference. McEnany had been a staunch defender of Trump on cable news before joining him in the White House.

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Ever since Trump moved into the White House, his press secretaries often made news themselves as they tried to speak for a president who often liked to talk for himself via Twitter. Sean Spicer was the first press secretary and he only lasted seven months. Then came Sarah Huckabee Sanders who was in the role the longest, serving for almost two years until June, 2019. In her first news conference, McEnany famously told reporters, “I will never lie to you. You have my word on that.” But, of course, she often did just that. “The White House press briefings have become something akin to a parody of Trump’s administration” Vox’s Aaron Rupar wrote in September. “Instead of providing the public with useful information, McEnany puts on a masterclass of spin, obfuscation, and propaganda that would be amusing if it wasn’t such an affront to the idea that the federal government should work on behalf of the people.”

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