On Thursday, former White House press secretary and current Fox News contributor Kayleigh McEnany compared current White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki’s penchant for saying she needs to “circle back” to reporters with answers to their questions to her own time in the role, saying, “I always knew where my boss stood.”
Fox & Friends host Brian Kilmeade prompted McEnany’s reply by saying, “Let’s talk about the job you used to have for a second. You had those big binders in front of you; I understand it. You had answers almost every single time. You knew roughly where they were gonna go. But listen to Jen Psaki’s new go-to line.”
Kilmeade showed a video of Psaki repeatedly saying she had to “circle back,” then asked, “You can’t anticipate every question, but is that acceptable? You’re like a crossing guard.”
“I’ve said before and I mean it: I wish Jen Psaki all the best,” McEnany answered. “It is a very hard job. But that being said, we took great pains in our administration to do hours and hours and hours of research beforehand, days sometimes, calling (former Secretary of Health and Human Services) Secretary (Alex) Azar sometimes, calling (former Department of Justice spokesperson) Kerri Kupec over at the Justice Department to get answers.”
“And the great thing about being in the Trump White House was I always knew where my boss stood,” McEnany continued. “Unlike other press secretaries that maybe didn’t have walk-in privileges to the Oval, I could walk in at any time. I always knew where he stood. Before every press conference, I would go in with a list of items that I thought the press would ask and go through one by one. I always knew where his head was at, so I didn’t have to do a ton of circling back because President Trump gave a lot of access to me.”
On Tuesday, after the announcement that McEnany had been hired as a contributor to Fox News, Psaki stated at a press briefing that she would be willing to go on Fox News with her. A reporter asked, “Your predecessor, Kayleigh McEnany, has just signed on as a Fox News contributor. I’m wondering if you have any good wishes for her, advice, and if she does have a show, if you’d be willing to go on it.”
Psaki answered, “Sure. I’ve done Fox News Sunday twice now. I’m happy to go on a range of shows. I will say that I knew Kayleigh a little bit, not well. I met her when we were both CNN contributors and we did a few shows — I’m not sure how many — together. Like many Americans, we disagree on political issues, but we talked about our families, our spouses, sports, all sorts of things in the green room, and I certainly wish her the best in her future endeavors.”
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