Kayleigh McEnany holds White House press conference | 7/21/2020
Good morning everyone. By any objective, standard, the violence. Chaos, and anarchy, in portland, is unacceptable. Yet democrats, continue to put politics, above peace while this president, seeks to restore, law and order. Governor, kate brown, a democrat. Governor, of oregon. Said that the president, should quote stop playing politics, called law enforcement, officers, secret police, and likened it to, quote a dictatorship. The governor, also called on the president to get his officers. Off the streets. Democrat, mayor of portland, todd wheeler said the president is trying to look strong for his base while you had democrats, on the hill, nancy pelosi. Calling these officers, storm troopers and jim clyburn, calling them, the gestapo. This rhetoric, is unhelpful. And gives the violence, we have seen a pass. But president, trump will not give the violence, a pass. He will restore, order where the democrat, governor and the democrat. Mayor, are unwilling, to admit that they have lost control. Of their city. The well-organized. Mob in portland, has become increasingly. Aggressive, especially, against law enforcement, officers. Individuals, have thrown bricks, chunks of concrete. Glass, bottles. Feces. Balloons, filled with paint. Pigs feet, slingshots. To hurl ball bearings. And batteries, at federal agents, and the courthouse. Multiple, attempts to barricade, officers, in the hatfield, court house have occurred. Attempts, to start the structure on fire as well. Use of eyesight, damaging, laser devices. Have been used in strobe lights against federal agents as well. But according, to speaker pelosi, when asked about the violent removal of statute, statues. People will do what they do. The trump administration, urges state and local officials to work cooperatively. To restore. Law and order. Operation, legend is a great example, of this, at the governor's, request, we went into kansas, city and surged the area with federal, assets, fbi, dea, atf, and u.s marshals. This was named after legend talaferro. A four-year-old. Young boy who lost his life and was shot in his bed tragically. This has been a successful. Operation. That has been, waged in his name including the arrest of wanted fugitives. Similarly, president trump is taking action in portland, portland, even though you have a democrat, mayor and democrat, governor unwilling, to work with us in this situation. We are surging resources. Along with secretary, wolf at dhs. And augmenting, the federal protective, service to safeguard, federal, property. The bottom line is that this president, stands with law and order, which leads to peace and we will not allow portland. To become the new chop like what we saw in seattle, and with that i'll take questions. John. Kelly two questions on portland, one, the case of navy veteran, christopher, david. Who went down because he said he wanted. To talk to the law enforcement, officers and ask them about the oath of office, that they took. He was, as people saw in videotape. He was beaten with a baton, he had. Pepper spray sprayed in his face. He now has two broken bones in his hand. Is the president aware, of what happened. To, uh to this navy veteran, graduate, of the naval academy. And does he condone, that kind of action by these law enforcement, officers, yeah i'm aware of the details, of that situation. Haven't heard the audio of the video though i've seen it and i'd refer you to dhs, about the extenuating, details, we always encourage, the appropriate. Use of force and we always also encourage those in the area to remain peaceful, towards our law enforcement officers, and my second question is where, in the constitution. Does the president, derive. The authority. To send federal law enforcement, officers, to the streets of american, cities, against the will. Of the elected officials. In those cities. Yes well what you're referring to is portland and 40 u.s code. 1315.. Gives dhs. The ability to deputize, officers in any department, or agency. Like ice custom and border patrol and secret service, quote as officers, and agents they can be deputized, for the duty. Of uh in connection with the protection of property, owned or occupied, by the federal government and persons on that property and when a federal courthouse, is being lit on fire commercial, fireworks, being shot at it being shot at the officers. I think that that falls pretty well within, uh the limits of 40 us code 1315.. That's a matter of protecting, federal property like federal courthouse, in the case of portland. Does, he see limitations. To that power how, how much. How far does that power extend, into the into the streets of the city of portland, how. You know what. Are there limitations. On that, so i don't have that authority to protect a federal property under the law we believe that agents can conduct, investigations.
Of Crimes committed against federal, property or federal officers and in the case where you have someone shooting off a commercial grade firework. And then running across the street we don't believe that that extends past our jurisdiction. Yeah, really thank you yesterday the president tweeted out an image of himself. Wearing a mask he said that wearing a mask is an act of patriotism. No one is more, patriotic, than him then just hours later he was spotted, at the trump hotel. Not wearing a mask. Why did it take him so long, first of all to be seen wearing a mask in public and why the mixed messaging. On this critical. Health issue that his own top health officials have said, is critical to fighting this pandemic. The president's, always been consistent, on this that, mask according to the cdc, are recommended, but not required. He has said that he would wear one in the case he couldn't appropriately. Socially, distance. And, he wore one and put up the picture on twitter as you saw, does he think that it's important to lead by example, on this issue well the president has led he's been consistent, even going back to march 31st. When he said, then my feeling is if people want to do it there's certainly no harm to it he hasn't done it hayley he hasn't worn the president so it's sending, is it not mixed signals, the president wore a mask in may the president wore a mask at walter reed out of an abundance of caution but as i've made clear from this podium the president, is the most tested man in america. He's tested more than anyone multiple times a day. And we believe, that he's acting appropriately, let me ask you about the federal students, if i might negotiations. Are ongoing, why is the white house, blocking, republicans. Requests, for more funding. For testing, and contact, tracing. Senator, roy blunt saying it just doesn't make sense, i think that's just wrong. So no one is blocking any money from testing. One of the things, i would, add is that this is an ongoing, negotiation. We're just in the early days of that, i'm currently, in, federal coffers, we have 10 billion, dollars, that's with a b. Unspent. Uh that is allocated, for testing and we want to ensure that in phase four there is money that is targeted, for testing and the way that makes most sense. Need that money, is is the president willing to, come. We're willing to put in money for targeted, testing that makes sense not just dumping money, into a pot that really already contains, 10 billion dollars. There's very little support in congress for a payroll, tax cut but the president, keeps pushing for it why is that so important to him how does a payroll tax have helped, the 25, million americans, out of work when they're not getting a paycheck.
Well There are a number of things we're looking at for phase four one of those things is unemployment. Benefits, where as, secretary, mnuchin said we want this to be completed, before july 31st. Uh the date that that runs out we don't want something to be an incentive where someone gets overpaid, and has a disincentive. From going back to work where they get paid more on unemployment, benefits than at work so we want to be cautious, about that while making sure that those unemployed. Are taken care of, but the payroll tax in particular, goes to some of our hardest working americans, the people that it benefits if you look at the tax structure. Our middle income and low-income, workers, and not only that there's an incentive, on the employer side with a payroll tax holiday, that encourages, them to hire more too because it reduces, their burden so it's a very smart policy those are people who still have jobs, so wouldn't it be more important to focus on the people who don't if you're worried about the overall, cost of this stimulus, we can focus on a number of things at once and part of that's a payroll tax for middle and income low income americans, who are out there working each and every day and making their way through as best they can it also means, unemployment. Benefits, it also means direct payments, to americans, so we're looking at all of that and we would like to see all of that the second question on the briefing today at five o'clock should we expect to see members of the coronavirus. Task force will dr fauci will dr burks be there, you'll have to tune in to see. Thank you um, on portland. I'm sending agents to portland, as well as uh plans for chicago. Why are these, the right people, to send. My understanding. These agents, often work on, human smuggling. Drug trafficking. Things like that do they have the right skill set, whether it's gun violence in chicago. Or, squelling. Unrest. In portland. Well first let me add um they haven't been sent to chicago, these dhs. Officials, are currently in portland. Portland protecting, a courthouse. We do believe they're the right individuals, for that as does 40 usc, 1315. The united states code. It's egregious, what's happening the frequency, jammers the paladin, air rifles, in portland it's being depicted, as this peaceful scene i can assure you, it's anything but that, where you've had barricades. Trying to keep officers, in the heart field hatfield, excuse me courthouse. Injury to a border patrol team member's leg injuries to the head shoulder and back of a deputy u.s marshal u.s marshal, impaled. His right hand on a board filled with nails set out by the protesters.
This Is not a peaceful scene i'm very thankful to our u.s marshals. And atf, and others who are acting in accordance, with a statute, and protecting a federal building. And doing so a great cost to themselves. Thanks bailey i have two questions for you on the stimulus, first. Since you guys are committed to the payroll tax cut that seems to be driving up, the price tag of the whole package so, is the white house, view the one trillion dollar figure that's been cited, by gop leaders as a hard cap are you willing to sign something, that would spend more than that these are all preliminary, discussions, so you know i'll leave it to the negotiators. To decide the, uh trillion dollar number um was cited, by secretary, mnuchin, yesterday. But look this is the the beginning stages we're looking at a number of things but the president. Was very clear, that he would like to see a payroll tax in there along with liability, protections. Um tax credits for businesses, to bring people back to work and to have safe work environments, and of course 70 billion dollars, for schools to reopen safely at least 70 billion, and then on the testing. Piece. The one of the wait times the long wait times that we're seeing for tests around the country suggest that, we do need a massive influx, of testing, beyond, what's unspent. And that the federal government should take more control of the, federal of the country's testing program, so we do want to see, more testing, funding but we want it to be targeted, in a way that, it gets to the the right people who need testing at the right time not just dumping money into a bucket so we want more money we want it to be targeted. But i'm glad you brought up the timing of the testing, i talked to dr burks and she's very encouraged, by, the pool testing that's being worked on, you can run four to five, times as many tests in the same period of time, it by decreasing, turnaround, times at a minimum, of, uh by of two-thirds. So if you took three days to get a test result, goes down to less than one if it took six days goes down to less than two, and it's more labor-intensive. So they would need to hire additional, personnel, but cms, is funding the test at about four times the actual, test costs, to ensure technicians, and ppe, requirements, can be met so we are seeing encouraging signs on that front yes. Um, just going back to the portland situation. What is sort of the policy, justification. For federal, officers, not identifying, their agency, and their arrest authority when they, take a protester, into custody. So i've been told by dhs, that there is insignia. Indicating, that their law enforcement. They and the case you're referencing, did identify, themselves, to the individual. Being obtained. But that they don't identify, themselves to crowds, because it would put them at great risk and i think you can see that as i noted when they're sticking their hands into boards left out by some of the rioters. Yes, hey kelly. You know on, june 16th, a little more than a month ago the white house via the vice president, published an op-ed in the wall street journal. The op-ed, said. That. The media, has tried to scare the american, people, about the coronavirus. Um he talked about, low positivity. Rates. And declining, case numbers. In half of the states. Um. There have been 25, 000 additional, deaths, since that was published. Does the white house still stand by that op-ed. And then just more generally. What happened here at the white house in the administration, in the last month. When, the message, was, that this was a problem. That was on the mend, and being addressed. Until now. With the exploding, cases we've seen. And 141. 000. Deaths. Well the white house has always been very clear-eyed, that as we reopen, we would see embers and in some cases fires, we've been very aggressive in addressing that sent out 19, teams to go to, emerging hot spots dr burke's has been to nine states. She does a lot of extraordinary. Work, on that front so we've been clear-eyed, that as we reopen, we would see. Embers, and sometimes fires, but we're encouraged, that when you look at case fatality. For instance we're below the european, union, we're below the average of the world and i think that that speaks to our incredible, work with therapeutics. And our incredible, work with testing, 46, million tests, the number two in testing in the world is india at 13.79. Million, do you still see the main problem as, the op-ed pointed out as the, media trying to scare the american people over coronavirus. I think in many cases the media has tried, to scare the american people i think, there's been, a deficit, in reporting, about the cost of staying shut down for instance when you have, uh the fact that the american, cancer society, saying that during the pandemic, we saw an 80 percent, drop in cancer cases, being identified, there are real costs.
To A draconian. Extended, shutdown, and you never, heard the other side of the health equation, you never heard. That, mammograms, were down by 87, percent and colonoscopies. Down by 90. And drug overdoses. Going up month, after month through the lockdown, so it was the right decision to make uh the president saved three to four million lives but it's important to note the other side of the health equation, about what extended lockdowns, do to the american people. Yeah the president says he wants to send these forces. To other cities like chicago. Of, cities that where, the federal property, isn't necessarily, under attack. What are they going to do when they get to chicago. And these other cities with higher, crime rates. Higher, shooting rates, higher murder rates, if the president's, worried about that, what are they going to do what are they going to arrest people. Well, i think you're getting ahead of the president here. He's made no announcements, as to who's going where he's very discouraged, by the violence that he's seen in chicago, it's why he sent. A very strong letter to, mayor lightfoot, offering, help because she's clearly unable, to control her streets. And the governor, as well unable to control that area. When you see the fact that there were 49. Officers, who were injured in this egregious. Video. Of them being lambasted. With. Rioters, with umbrellas, shielding from view that they were throwing projectiles. And 49, officers injured, not only that the the poor citizenry. Of chicago, where 12 were murdered this weekend. 70 shot alone. It's incredible, what we're seeing in chicago, he's offered his help and we encourage the mayor to take it, and to be forthright, about the situation, in her state much like. The governor of missouri was in working with us on operation, legend to protect the people of missouri, but the leaders of these cities don't necessarily. Want, unmarked. Police officers, patrolling, their streets the way, we've, seen in portland. With the premise that they're protecting, federal, property, there. The leaders in these cities, don't want this. Sort of paramilitary. Police, they're offered the assistance, of doj. As, was done. Where you've had fbi, surge, in the case of operation, legend. So when you have each weekend more than a dozen people getting shot in your city, perhaps it's time. More than a dozen killed i should say and children perhaps it's time to say i need the help of the federal government because what i'm doing is simply not working, when more people are dying on the streets of chicago than afghanistan, and iraq it's a tragedy, what if they don't say that yes stephen. Thank you, well i have a question about new york on a similar topic. Yesterday, uh president trump mentioned the spike in violent crime in new york and said quote. If the governor is not going to do something about it we'll do something about it and i'm curious if you could explain why, he's, saying that the governor should do something about it rather than the mayor, and if you could also elaborate, on what president trump would be willing to do, well he thinks the mayor and the governor should work together to take control of the streets of new york city where in some places we've seen, 600, percent surge, in violence. Over, last year, so he thinks they should work together it's ultimately, the power of the, the mayor uh to enforce in the the governor, to, enforce the police power of their states that power rests with them but they can partner with the federal government in the event they're unable to control the violence in their cities and that's certainly what we've seen, from mayor de blasio. Who seems to have. A, not a hard time criticizing, police officers but an awfully hard time controlling, the streets of new york city. Yeah, actually, thanks so much, i have two questions on those poolers for today one for myself and one for a colleague who cannot be here because of the social distancing. Governor gavin newsom was one of the few democratic, governors to bring in the national guard and arm them after the riots and leaving in, early june, as compared to seattle where they didn't arm the national guard. The guard was posted at los angeles city hall as a show of force, and within days the violence had well. Um. Why not just invoke the insurrection, act and have a big show of force, rather than these more secretive, operations. So i'll leave that to the president, um, we don't have secretive, operations, going on it's very clear what's going on in portland it's very clear what's happening.
Um In kansas, city, um but with, with regard to the insurrection, act look we believe that it should be governors, and mayors doing what they have the constitutional. Power to do the police power rest with them. So it's up to this president whether he ever decides, to invoke that but governors and mayors really need to step it up particularly, in democrat, cities where democrat, streets are out of control, and then the one for my colleague, um, john gizzy at newsmax, is asking. What are the president's, thoughts on john kasich supporting, joe biden and his plans to appear at the. Convention. John kasich. Is supporting, joe biden. And he plans to attend the convention. And support, the democratic, conventions, so that would be a question for the campaign, but this president's, quite proud of his record in the republican, party and quite, proud to have the support, of, 96, percent of the party more than, any predecessor. In the history of the republican, party, yes thanks haley, um you said earlier that the president was tested multiple times a day, we knew he was tested daily but can you elaborate, on that how many times a day, he's, tested often i'm not going to read out exactly how many times he's tested today but sometimes it is more than one time a day. Yes. Uh yesterday, the president said that when he was previously, doing briefings, we had a lot of people watching, record numbers watching the history of cable television. And i was wondering if ratings, are factoring, into his decision, to restart, the briefing. And if he is the best person, to get, accurate information, about the virus out to the public. Given previous, statements of briefings like the speculation, that disinfectants. Inside the human body, could work. As a treatment which uh medical, experts say is not the case. And claims that the virus will just disappear. Well the president is the right person to give information to the american people he was elected, by the american people, he's been a leader on this um the fact that we've. We've out-produced, on ventilators, so much so that we have an extraordinary, number. In our stockpile, and we're giving ventilators, out to the rest of the world that we lead, the world in testing, 46.
Million, Tests more than that, at this point the fact that he's broken down bureaucracy. To get, a vaccine, into phase three clinical trial that because of him we have remdessevier, and convalescent, plasma and dexamethasone. And, other therapeutics. He's the right person to give the information to the american people, and uh boy does he get the information, to a lot of the american people during his briefings, as noted by the ratings, as he himself, pointed out yes, the u.s trade representative. Is planning additional, second tariffs against europe in the old dispute, about aerospace. Subsidies. Is the president, committed, to impose, additional sanctions. Considering. That europe, would answer, with additional, sanctions, uh tariffs, as well, so since that's pre-decisional. I won't get ahead of on any administration, announcements, on that front yes. Can we have a couple of questions the first one is the president, in las vegas tweeted about, the concerns, about mail-in voting so he's obviously concerned, about the integrity. Of the u.s. And certainly, internal, sabotage, but why are we not hearing from the president about the fears about external, sabotage, for example coming out of the uk, today. There's a parliamentary, committee report, that says that. Russia. Influenced. The scottish, referendum, their questions, about brexit. But we've really not heard the president, put, the kremlin, on notice with respect to the u.s, election, will we hear from him today on that the president's put the world on notice that our election, systems must be secure. This is under this president 2018. He articulated. The first. Full cyber, strategy, for the united states since 2003. In 2019. He extended the national emergency, declaration, on foreign. Election interference. He routinely engages, with congress, on election security. Um. Participating. 26. Elections. Security, specific, hearings, um he signed legislation. 71, million dollars. And so on and so forth and that's quite a contrast, to, the obiden. The obama biden administration. Who when told of meddling in 2016, did nothing and in fact susan rice told the white house cyber team to stand down and quote, knock it off, when they floated, um, when they floated options to combat russian cyber attacks and even obama's cyber, chief, michael daniel has confirmed, the stand down order, that's been in office now more than three years i'm asking what's been done now. Given these fresh concerns. What are we going to hear from the president, what's been done now i just listed off three or four things for you and i'm happy to go through more we can talk about the 71, million.
In Legislation. On election. Security, uh we can talk about the 15 million for election reform activities, we can talk about legislation, making more than, 805. Million available to states. When it comes to mail and voting. Um i would point you to the fact that there's a wall street journal article just out today and it talks about the dark omen for november, and the absolute. Catastrophe. In new york city that we are a month, into the election, after the voting, and we still don't know who the winners are of some of those races, and governor cuomo, decided, that he would pre-pay. Postage, for the ballot and what that meant was that the post office didn't put a postage, stamp, noting the date, um, of the ballot so as they're collecting, these ballots. For a month as you asked me about this so i'm going to answer. So for a month, they've been collecting, ballots with no postmark, date and in fact what they found is 19. Of ballots have been rejected, in queens, 28. Rejected, in brooklyn, there are questions. About mail mass mail out voting. And, i know you don't want to hear them which is why you talk over me, but i encourage you to read the op-ed, yes on the china vaccine, researchers yeah you've done two questions which is more than some of your colleagues, yes thank you kaylee. Um in st louis the mccloskeys. Have been charged with felonies, for waving guns at protesters. The, missouri attorney general, is vowing to dismiss, these charges. Where does the president stand on this, yeah the president i asked him about that this morning, and he said it is absolutely, absurd what, is happening to the mccloskeys. He, noted that this is an extreme abuse of power by the prosecutor, and noteworthy, that the prosecutor, there have been many cases brought to her attention, of violent, rioters, that she's failed to charge but instead. She's charging the individuals. Who are defending, themselves. From violent, protesters. You have 300 to 500, protesters, who stormed, the gates, tore down the gates and trespassed. On their property, and you had patricia, mccloskey. Who said, that, they were telling her they were going to kill them, these protesters. At the moment they were. Waving their guns, to protect themselves. They were going to come in here she said they were going to burn down the house they were going to be living in our house after i was dead and they were pointing to different rooms of the house saying, that's going to be my bedroom that's going to be my, living room and i'm going to be taking a shower in that room, uh so they were completely within their right and it's an egregious. Abuse of power on the part of the mccloskeys. Um. Turning to a different note i just wanted to highlight, some some great work being done by senior advisor. Ivanka, trump, there are nearly, 40 million, boxes, that have been put together by the farmers to family food box program, a great partnership, to help, families in need in this country, and yesterday, you had, ivanka, trump visiting the dc dream center and personally, distributing, a number of food boxes.
The Distribution, resulted in 1 000 boxes, delivered to the dc, community. And we thank ivanka for the great work that she has done there. And finally i just wanted to note something on kovid. Um. Dr burks, is, an extraordinary. Uh, doctor, who served this country, dedicated. Her time to serving our country, as an army colonel. She served as an ambassador, to pepfar, where she spent her life fighting aids, and hiv, abroad, and it is appalling. The attack that i saw, on her in the new york times based on, no facts, and dr burks for weeks has been sending out, this data to governors, 400, pages. Of data to our governors. So that they have the best information, to make the best decisions, for their people in their respective, states, i've not seen anyone pouring over, data the way dr burks has and the attack on her. Was frankly appalling, and egregious. And the new york times, should be very ashamed of. Themselves. You.