White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany singled out CNN anchors Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon for their coverage over the ongoing riots that have plagued cities across America.
There has been a heightened focus on the violence that has taken place after the Kenosha unrest with Democrats and members of the media sounding the alarm that recent polling shows President Trump benefiting with his “law and order” message that he touted during last week’s Republican National Convention.
Before closing her press briefing on Monday, McEnany highlighted the tonal shift.
“It’s so interesting to me to see Democrats who once disbarred, or ignored the violence I should say, all of a sudden caring about it. But let’s not forget what they said previously,” McEnany said.
She called out several top Democrats and what they said about the unrest in cities throughout the country.
“Speaker Nancy Pelosi downplaying the violence rocking U.S. cities, ignorantly saying, ‘People will do what they do.'” McEnany said. “Jerry Nadler, when asked about Antifa, he said that was a ‘myth being spread around Washington, D.C.’ It’s not a myth. In fact, an Antifa individual took the life of an innocent Trump supporter in Portland. You have Ayanna Pressley saying that she wanted ‘unrest’ in the streets.”
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The press secretary then also called out to CNN’s most prominent anchors.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany speaks during a press briefing at the White House, Monday, Aug. 31, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
“Chris Cuomo saying, ‘Show me where it says that protesters are supposed to be peaceful.’ I’ll give you an idea, Chris. It’s in the Constitution,” McEnany swiped the anchor.
“Don Lemon saying quote, ‘The rioting has to stop, Chris, as you know and I know. It’s showing up in the polls. It’s showing up in the focus groups. It’s the only thing right now that’s sticking.'” McEnnay said. “So now all of a sudden, 90 days, I, from this podium, have talked about law and order, the president has talked about law and order repeatedly, but because the polling has shifted, now it’s time for the Democrats to deny what they said previously and all of a sudden focus on law and order.”
“That’s like the arsonist blaming the firefighter,” she added before walking away from the podium.
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In June, Cuomo raised eyebrows for appearing to defend the violence that has taken place after the death of George Floyd.
“Now too many see the protests as the problem. No, the problem is what forced your fellow citizens to take to the streets: persistent, poisonous inequities and injustice,” Cuomo told his viewers on June 2. “And please, show me where it says protesters are supposed to be polite and peaceful. Because I can show you that outraged citizens are what made the country what she is and led to any major milestone. To be honest, this is not a tranquil time.”
Cuomo later attempted to explain that he was “borrowing” the rhetoric of the late congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis after his death in late July.
“I was borrowing from Brother Lewis when I said, ‘Who says protests are supposed to be peaceful and quiet and polite,’ Cuomo said. “I know it says ‘peaceful’ in the First Amendment, but if you just go in and sing your songs and go home, nothing changes. And that’s what he was encouraging.”
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Last week, Don Lemon made a direct plea to Biden amid a third night of violence in Kenosha, Wis. following the police shooting of Jacob Blake, stressing the political ramifications of the unrest.
“He’s got to address it. He’s got to come out to talk about it. He’s got to do a speech like Barack Obama did about race,” Lemon said late Tuesday. “The rioting has to stop… it’s showing up in the polling, it’s showing up in focus groups. It is the only thing right now that is sticking.”