McEnany, who assumed the role in early April, made the promise when a reporter asked if she’d “pledge never to lie to us from that podium” in the briefing room.
“I will never lie to you,” McEnany responded. “You have my word on that.”
That may be a tall order. Just weeks before her appointment, McEnancy lied while praising Trump’s response to the coronavirus outbreak on Fox News.
“We will not see diseases like the coronavirus come here, we will not see terrorism come here, and isn’t it refreshing when contrasting it with the awful presidency of President Obama?” she said on Feb. 25.
In reality, the coronavirus was already in the U.S. in late February. The day before McEnany made those remarks, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 57 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States. Health officials at federal agencies had already warned that it was no longer a matter of if, but when, the U.S. would start to see it spread.
CNN fact-checker Daniel Dale also pointed out a few times McEnany strayed from the truth at Friday’s briefing — after making the pledge. She falsely said Trump tweeted in support of the right to protest earlier that day, when he actually tweeted in support of the anti-shelter-in-place protesters. She also misquoted FBI notes regarding Michael Flynn, Trump’s former National Security Advisor.
There are plenty more instances of McEnany, who regularly made appearances on Fox News before joining team Trump, twisting the truth or lying for Trump’s benefit on national television in recent years.
Her promise came at the first official White House press briefing in over a year. If she holds as many more briefings as her predecessor Stephanie Grisham did ― that’s zero ― the promise won’t be hard to keep.
The same reporter who asked her to make the pledge also asked if she planned to hold more regular daily briefings, which have occurred regularly in most administrations for decades ― until Trump’s. McEnany’s answer was vague.
“As to the timing of the briefings, we do plan to do them,” she said. “I will announce timing of that forthcoming, but we do plan to continue these.”