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Kayleigh McEnany says Trump is neutral on flying the Confederate flag

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  • During Monday’s press briefing, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany would not say whether President Trump supports flying the Confederate flag or is against it.
  • McEnany delivered several roundabout answers as to why Trump claimed NASCAR made a mistake by banning fans from flying the Confederate flag at league races.
  • “What we’re seeing across the nation is this vast cancel culture, where we’re going to tear down our monuments, we’re going to tear down Gandhi, we’re going to tear down George Washington, we’re going to tear down Lincoln,” McEnany said.
  • “I spoke to [Trump] this morning about this, and he said he was not making a judgment one way or the other,” on the Confederate flag, McEnany said when pressed for an answer.
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White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany struggled to defend President Donald Trump’s NASCAR tweet at Monday’s briefing, delivering a series of confusing answers before claiming Trump “wasn’t making a judgment one way or the other.”

The tweet in question came early Monday morning, when Trump claimed NASCAR’s has the “lowest ratings EVER!” because they banned the Confederate flag from their races and of their investigation into a noose found in driver Bubba Wallace’s garage.

McEnany deflected when asked if Trump supported flying the Confederate flag.

“Well I think you’re mischaracterizing the tweet,” McEnany said. “The tweet was aimed at pointing out that the FBI report of the alleged hate crime at NASCAR concluded that the garage door pull, which had been there since last fall, was obviously not targeted at a specific individual, because, in fact, it was a garage pull and in fact, it was there since last fall long before these 43 teams arrived.”

“My question is why is the president so supportive of flying the Confederate flag?” NBC’s Peter Alexander responded.

 

McEnany said “the whole point of the tweet” was the “broader context” of defending NASCAR fans and the media’s “rush to judgment” on the Bubba Wallace incident. 

Wallace did not report any alleged hate crime himself, but rather was alerted to the noose in his car’s garage by NASCAR officials.

When asked by another reporter to clarify the president’s stance on the Confederate flag, McEnany said “I spoke to him this morning about this, and he said he was not making a judgment one way or the other.”

McEnany kept veering away from addressing the Confederate flag part of the tweet, and instead pointed to disparate examples of “cancel culture” as the real issue at hand.

“What we’re seeing across the nation is this vast cancel culture, where we’re going to tear down our monuments, we’re going to tear down Gandhi, we’re going to tear down George Washington, we’re going to tear down Lincoln,” McEnany said. “It’s really quite appalling … and the president wants no part in cancel culture.”

 

Reporters grew frustrated that McEnany would not directly address whether Trump is in favor of or defends the Confederate flag, with McEnany reverting to more outside examples hot button cultural issues instead.

“I’ve explained to you — this is I guess the fourth attempt, but I guess we’ll try it again — in aggregate, what he was pointing out is this rush to judgment to immediately say that there is a hate crime, as happened in this case, as happened with Jussie Smollett, as happened with the Covington Catholic boys.”

McEnany ended the briefing after being asked how the world was looking at the United States amid a spike in coronavirus cases.

“And finally, I’d end with this: I was asked probably 12 questions about the Confederate flag,” McEnany said.

“This president’s focused on action, and I’m a little dismayed that I didn’t receive one question on the deaths that we got in the country this weekend,” McEnany continued, referring to murders in major cities.

“We need to be focused on securing our streets, making sure no lives are lost, because all Black lives matter — that of David Dorn, and that of his eight-year-old daughter. Thank you,” McEnany said before leaving the podium.

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