White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany held nothing back during a press conference on Friday afternoon where she was asked about a meme President Trump shared on Twitter.
On Thursday afternoon, Trump shared a video of two toddlers, one white and one black, that showed how CNN routinely covers stories at certain angles to criticize the president.
In the alleged CNN version, the white toddler is chasing the black boy and the chyron reads, “Terrified toddler runs from racist baby.”
More context is included in the actual scene, shown immediately after. The extended scene shows the two boys playing.
Check it out:
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 19, 2020
CNN’s Jim Acosta raised a particular issue with the video and accused the Trump administration of peddling fake news (returning a criticism the Trump administration often makes of his network).
“If I can ask you about last night, the president tweeted out some fake videos, one of which was labeled ‘manipulated media’ by Twitter,” he said via the Daily Wire. “Why is the president sharing fake videos on Twitter about two toddlers who are obviously showing a lot of love for one another, it seems as though he’s exploiting children to make some sort of crass political point. Why is he sharing fake videos?”
McEnany brushed the question, saying the video was a meme and one specifically targetted at CNN—not intentionally misinforming people like CNN regularly does.
“He was making a point about CNN specifically,” she answered per the report. “He was making a point that CNN has regularly taken him out of context, that in 2019, CNN misleadingly aired a clip from one viewpoint repeatedly to falsely accuse the Covington boys of being ‘students in MAGA gear harassing a Native American elder.’ That’s a harassing video, a misleading video about children that had really grave consequences for their future.”
Acosta pressed: “So you’re saying it’s okay to exploit two toddlers hugging one another on a sidewalk to make some sort of political point?”
“As you know the president has described the members of the press as fake news during the course of this administration. When you share fake videos like that, doesn’t that make you fake news?” he added.
The press secretary heard enough.
“I think the president was making a satirical point that was quite funny if you go and actually watch the video,” McEnany said, as the Daily Wire reports. “The point is it was a play on CNN repeatedly taking the president out of context. Like the time when you guys had a chyron that read ‘Trump slams some illegal immigrants “They’re animals.”’ Guess what? The people he called animals were MS-13 illegal immigrants who regularly mutilate people in this country. Those things are entirely misleading.”
“When I see on your network celebratory headlines about the rallies and the protests outside and you actually said protests and rallies, so in light of a protest, if these gatherings happen in light of a protest or a rally as you say, that rally is to be condoned, but not the president’s rally,” she continued. “I mean, it’s appalling. You have one person on your network saying that this is a celebration in the streets, a carnival-like atmosphere. There’s a guy with a sign that says ‘Free Hugs.’ It’s beautiful what’s happening in the streets. There is music, people are hugging, you celebrate hugging in the context of a protest, but at a Trump rally, where we celebrate historic low African American unemployment, criminal justice reform, HBCUs – that rally is not allowed because guess what, Jim? It doesn’t fit the ideological agenda of CNN.”
Watch the exchange below:
CNN regularly twists the facts and puts misleading headlines on their network.
That was the point of the meme.. pic.twitter.com/IAjtkL2XDS
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) June 19, 2020
Acosta later shared that Twitter removed Trump’s video due to a copyright complaint.
Twitter has now disabled the video in this tweet. https://t.co/a1OB5Jc91w
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) June 19, 2020