Press Briefing by Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany | Eastern North Carolina Now

Press Release:

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room  •  Washington D.C.  •  July 6  •  1:29 P.M. EDT

    MS. MCENANY: All right. Hello, everyone. Over the holiday weekend, President Trump delivered two defining, unifying, and patriotic speeches, which drew widespread praise by those who cherish our values, honor our history, and seek to advance policies that lift up all Americans.

    The President outlined a vision for the future. The President outlined a vision for stronger and safer communities. President Trump said, "After all, what do we want? We want a strong military, great education, housing, low taxes, law and order." He went on to say, "We want safety, we want equal justice, we want religious liberty, we want faith and family, and living in the great communities and happy communities and safe communities. And we want great jobs, and we want to be respected by the rest of the world, not taken advantage of by the rest of the world." He went on to say, "We should all want the same thing. How can it be any different than those things?"

    This message is now more important and more timely than ever. Radical left-wing mobs seek to tear down our monuments and our memorials — everyone from George Washington to Abraham Lincoln to Frederick Douglass, and even Gandhi. Misguided movements, such as "Defund the Police," seek to leave our communities more vulnerable than ever. Case in point: This weekend alone, in New York, there were 44 shootings with 11 killed; in Chicago, 75 people were shot with 13 killed; and tragically, at least five of these individuals were children who were killed in cities across the country. An absolutely devastating loss, and we grieve for those families. Crimes such as this is dark and it is divisive.

    This July 4th, the President said, "Our movement is based on lifting all citizens to reach their fullest God-given potential. Never forget: We are one family and one nation...We will teach our children to cherish and adore their country so...they can build its future."

    This vision is not a culture war, as the media seeks to falsely proclaim; it's an embrace of our American family, our values, our freedom, and our future.

    And with that, I'll take questions.


    Q:  Kayleigh, I want to ask you just a couple questions. The first one: Why is the President so supportive of flying the Confederate flag?

    MS. MCENANY: So I think you're referring to a tweet this morning. Is that right?

    Q:  Correct.

    MS. MCENANY: Well, I think you're mischaracterizing the tweet. 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. And it was concluded by the FBI that this was, quote, "not an intentional racist act."

    Q:  For clarity, I'm asking you about the Confederate flags. My question is: Why is the President so supportive of flying the Confederate flag?

    MS. MCENANY: The President never said that. Again, you're taking his tweet completely out of context.

    Q:  The President said that NASCAR saw bad ratings because they took down the Confederate flag, banned the Confederate flag. Does he believe NASCAR should fly the Confederate flag? And why don't they fly it here?

    MS. MCENANY: The whole point of the tweet was to note the incident, the alleged hate crime that, in fact, was not a hate crime. At the very end, the ban on the flag was mentioned in the broader context of the fact that he rejects this notion that somehow NASCAR men and women who go to these sporting events are racist when, in fact, as it turns out, what we saw with the FBI report and the alleged incident of a hate crime — it was a complete indictment of the media's rush to judgment once again, calling this a hate crime when the FBI completely dismissed that.

    Q:  Let me ask you about some of the President's comments this weekend. The President said that 99 percent of coronavirus cases are totally harmless. Which members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force agree with that statement?

    MS. MCENANY: So what the President was pointing to — and I'm glad you brought it up — was a factual statement, one that is rooted in science and one that was pointing out the fact that mortality in this country is very low. And I have two charts that we'll pull up to illustrate that.

    The first chart is the case fatality rate in the United States. And as you can see, the mortality rate has gone like this — (motions downward) — the case fatality rate. And also, in the second chart you'll see — hopefully they have it up behind me — but the case rate — fatality rate in this country vis-à-vis other European countries is much lower than, let's say, France and Italy. And what that speaks to is the great work of this administration with therapeutics and remdesivir and dexamethasone. And that's what the President was pointing out.

    Q:  So I want to get back to —

    MS. MCENANY: Jon.

    Q:  — just to follow up quickly, though. So if you don't die, is it not harmless?

    MS. MCENANY: The President was noting the fact that the vast majority of Americans who contract coronavirus will come out on the other side of this. Of course, he takes this very seriously. Of course, no one wants to see anyone in this country contract COVID, which is why the administration has fought hard to make sure that's not the case with our historic response effort.


    Q:  Kayleigh, to follow on Peter's question, what is the President's position? Does he think NASCAR made a mistake by banning the Confederate flag?

    MS. MCENANY: So he said he — I spoke to him this morning about this, and he said he was not making a judgment one way or the other. The intent of the tweet was to stand up for the men and women of NASCAR and the fans and those who have gone, and this rush to judgment of the media to call something a hate crime when, in fact, the FBI report concluded this was not an intentional racist act. And it very much mirrors other times when there have been a rush to judgment, let's say with the Covington boys or with Jussie Smollett.

    Q:  But let's drill down on the Confederate flag. Does he think it was a mistake for NASCAR to ban it?

    MS. MCENANY: The President said he wasn't making a judgment one way or the other. You're focusing on —

    Q:  But what is his position on it?

    MS. MCENANY: — one word at the very bottom of a tweet that's completely taken out of context and neglecting the complete rush to judgment on this.

    Q:  Wasn't he saying that NASCAR's rating were down because they banned the flag? That's what he said.

    MS. MCENANY: The President was noting the fact that, in aggregate, this notion that NASCAR men and women who have gone and who are being demeaned and called racist, and being accused in some venues of committing a hate crime against an individual, those allegations were just dead wrong.

    Q:  Does he think —

    MS. MCENANY: Paula.

    Q:  Does he think his supporters should not take the flag to Trump rallies? Has he considered banning the Confederate flag from Trump rallies?

    MS. MCENANY: Well, at Trump rallies, all flags that are not official campaign gear are banned.


    Read the full transcript HERE.

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