White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said she’d be “happy” to be interviewed by Kayleigh McEnany, who served as press secretary for former President Donald Trump.
It was announced Tuesday that McEnany has joined Fox News as a contributor.
“A little bit of news on the media front. Your predecessor, Kayleigh McEnany, has just signed on as a Fox News contributor,” a reporter told Psaki during the Tuesday press briefing. “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.”
“Sure,” the press secretary responded. “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,” Psaki continued. “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,” she added.
On Jan. 20, McEnany posted messages of support for Psaki, communications director Kate Bedingfield, principal deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, and senior adviser and chief spokeswoman Symone Sanders.
“Wishing all the best to President [Joe Biden’s] incoming press & communications team,” McEnany tweeted, captioning a photo of letters she left to the communications team.
“Sending my prayers as you begin your service to the American people!” McEnany added.
Wishing all the best to President @JoeBiden’s incoming press & communications team.
— Kayleigh McEnany (@kayleighmcenany) January 20, 2021
Moreover, on Tuesday, McEnany noted that when she met Psaki she was “very kind,” as well as “some of her colleagues in the press shop.”
The pair, however, are treated very differently by the press, McEnany said.
“It’s different in a big way,” she outlined, according to the Daily Caller. “I’ll never forget watching one of the early press briefing and [Psaki] was asked about the Antifa riots and I believe said she hadn’t spoken to the president about that and they let her move on.”
“Whereas, if I would have been asked that about violence on the other side of the aisle, that wouldn’t have been an answer that flew. Nor should it have. And so I think just the standards are different,” McEnany explained.
“A Democrat woman standing at that podium would never have had a Playboy reporter in the back of the room shouting at her as she left and nor should a Democrat woman ever have to face that and nor should a Republican woman,” the former press secretary added. “There is a modicum of respect that I think reporters and those at the podium and in a political role people should have for one another.”
McEnany was named as President Trump’s press secretary in April 2020, replacing Stephanie Grisham. Before her time as press secretary, she had served as Trump’s campaign spokeswoman and as a contributor on CNN.
Fox News host Harris Faulkner announced the former press secretary’s position with the network on-air. “It is my distinct pleasure to welcome Kayleigh McEnany to the Fox family,” Faulkner said, according to NBC. “We will be seeing much more of her.”
McEnany was known for her calm handling of an adversarial press during daily briefings, sometimes even withstanding heckling. In December, she reflected on the media bias against conservatives during an interview with the Daily Caller.
“No matter what Republican administration it is, Republican women are just treated differently by virtue of their party ideology,” McEnany said. “It’s unfortunate, but if you are a Republican, male or female, you will be attacked particularly in the Trump administration because the media always is keen to demonstrate their innately liberal bias.”