McEnany, now on-air contributor at Fox News, says she feared spotlight
Former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany described seeking spiritual guidance ahead of her first press conference on former President Donald Trump’s team during a recent Fox News interview.
Speaking with Fox News’s Ainsley Earhardt, the former White House official and current political analyst for the news network claimed that she was panic-stricken in the hours before taking the podium in May 2020 about the prospect of facing a grilling from reporters on the national stage.
“On a spiritual level I was a wreck, I was crying, I reached out to God, but I still felt so much fear, which is why I got down on my knees in the bathroom and I prayed. All of the sudden, when I took the podium, all those tears had melted away and I had this total serenity that was only made possible because of Christ,” she said.
Kayleigh McEnany on her first presser: “I was a wreck, I was crying .. I got down on my knees in the bathroom and I prayed. All of the sudden, when I took the podium, all those tears had melted away and I had this total serenity that was only made possible because of Christ.” pic.twitter.com/2n6CWiCL7L
— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) November 30, 2021
She would then go on to have one of the most memorable first press conferences of any White House press secretary, as she vowed to a reporter from The Associated Press that she would never lie to journalists, only to do so in that very press conference.
“I will never lie to you. You have my word on that,” she told Jill Colvin.
Minutes later, she would go on to refer to allegations of sexual misconduct and assault against now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh as “verifiably false”, despite no evidence coming forward in any form to conclusively disprove the claims of Christine Blasey Ford and others.
Ms McEnany had a famously rocky relationship with the press, especially CNN’s Jim Acosta, as the final press secretary of the Trump White House. Throughout 2020, she would espouse Covid-19 misinformation from the White House podium, including claims that it was “safe” to go maskless in close, crowded settings before a vaccine was developed.
In one famous instance, she claimed that Mr Trump “never downplayed the virus” despite the president telling Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward in a recorded interview that he “wanted to always play it down”.
She would also go on to help Mr Trump pursue his efforts to delegitimise the results of the 2020 election, and claimed during a press conference in early November that Democrats were “welcoming fraud and … welcoming illegal voting”.