White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany in First Press Conference: 'I Will Never Lie to You' (Video)

McEnany’s first briefing was also the first in 417 days

During her first briefing as White House press secretary on Friday, Kayleigh McEnany pledged never to lie to the press corps. Asked by a reporter if she would pledge on the spot never to lie, she responded, “I will never lie to you. You have my word on that.”

She also promised she plans to continue holding briefings, which was notable, given that Friday’s was the first one in 417 days. Her predecessor, Stephanie Grisham, didn’t hold a single briefing in her 10 months as press secretary.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who served in the role before Grisham, stopped holding them three months before she left the position. The first press secretary in President Donald Trump’s administration, Sean Spicer, was repeatedly accused of making false and misleading claims from the podium.

McEnany held her own during her first appearance at the podium. When asked about how much access she has to the president, she explained that she is “consistently with him, absorbing his thinking.”

It’s unclear if the emergence of McEnany’s briefings would affect the televised coronavirus briefings that have become a daily occurrence — and the subject of considerable pushback given Trump’s sometimes rambling, off-the-cuff remarks. “We allow the news of the day to guide us,” McEnany said of the COVID-19 response briefings. “I encourage the media to convey the facts to the American people.”

McEnany also announced that the Trump administration will send $12 billion to 395 hospitals that have been hardest hit by the coronavirus — with facilities in New York, New Jersey and Illinois on tap to receive the most funding.

Farewell, Sean Spicer: Here Are His Most Memorable White House Moments (Photos)

  • White House press secretary Sean Spicer stepped down on Friday, leaving behind a legacy of frequent errors, outright lies and a stellar impersonation by Melissa McCarthy.


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  • Jan. 21: In his debut as White House press secretary, Spicer slammed the “dishonest” media for lying about the size of the crowds at Trump’s inauguration. He would go on to falsely state that it was the “largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period.”

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  • Jan. 23: After Spicer’s combative first press conference, New York magazine’s The Cut dug up a seemingly small detail from an August 2016 profile of Spicer in the Washington Post: Spicer chews two and a half packs of Orbit cinnamon gum by noon, all of which he swallows whole.


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  • Jan. 26: Spicer confounded Twitter users in January with a pair mysterious tweets on consecutive mornings that still have not been explained. Some have speculated that the random strings of characters, “Aqenbpuu” and “n9y25ah7,” could be mistakenly tweeted-out passwords.


  • Feb. 4: Melissa McCarthy earned an Emmy nomination for her impression of Spicer on “Saturday Night Live,” a brash, gut-busting impression that’s likely to endure in the collective American memory longer than Spicer’s actual performance as press secretary.


  • March 10: Spicer showed up to an on-camera press briefing with his American flag lapel pin turned upside-down, traditionally a signal of distress. The gaffe also earned a shoutout from Netflix’s “House of Cards,” which uses an upturned flag as its logo.


  • March 17: In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, Spicer wore a solid green tie to a press briefing in March, all but asking internet users to give him the greenscreen treatment. Social media took the challenge and ran with it, superimposing all kinds of video footage onto his chest.

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  • March 28: Spicer got into a terse exchange with veteran White House correspondent April Ryan over the Trump administration’s various Russia scandals. He grew frustrated as he repeatedly denied all the allegations, before snapping and instructing her to “stop shaking your head.”

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  • April 11: While discussing the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government, Spicer drew outrage when he said, “You know, you had someone as despicable as Hitler who didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons.” Given the opportunity to clarify, Spicer mistakenly referred to Nazi death camps as “Holocaust centers,” making his predicament even worse.

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  • May 10: Spicer and his team scrambled to deal with the press when Trump surprised the country by firing FBI Director James Comey amid an ongoing investigation into the president’s ties to Russia. The Washington Post later reported that Spicer “spent several minutes hidden in the bushes” preparing before agreeing to only take questions in complete darkness.

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  • May 24: During the President’s highly publicized trip to Europe and the Middle East, a few White House staffers got the opportunity to meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican. One person who didn’t make the cut: Devout Catholic Sean Spicer.


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  • May 31: President Trump’s late-night tweet decrying “negative press covfefe” set the internet on fire with its obvious typo, but by the next morning Spicer was telling reporters the whole thing was intentional. “I think the president and a small group of people know exactly what he meant,” he said.

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  • Bonus: Years before his short tenure as press secretary for the Trump Administration, Spicer held a different position under President Bush — Easter Bunny at the White House Egg Roll.


From dressing up as Easter Bunny to lying about inauguration

White House press secretary Sean Spicer stepped down on Friday, leaving behind a legacy of frequent errors, outright lies and a stellar impersonation by Melissa McCarthy.


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