Acosta vs. McEnany: If There's Any President Who Should Be Fact-Checked, Isn't It President Trump? | Video | RealClearPolitics

Acosta vs. McEnany: If There's Any President Who Should Be Fact-Checked, Isn't It President Trump?

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CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta and White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany go at it after the journalist asked if there is any president who should be fact-checked it should be President Trump. From Thursday's (May 28, 2020) White House press briefing:


JIM ACOSTA, CNN: And, on Twitter, shouldn’t the President be fact-checked, especially this President who has made so many false and misleading statements that has put, you know, fact-checkers to work across the world? I mean, he’s uttered some 18,000 false or misleading statements, according to The Washington Post. If there’s any President out there who should be fact-checked — any political leader out there who should be fact- checked, isn’t it President Trump? And aren’t you trying to silence fact-checking by going after Twitter like this?

KAYLEIGH MCENANY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Look, well, first I would say I disagree with all, if not almost all, of those assertions that you’re making there because, look, if you’re going to get into the fact-checking business —

Q The President doesn’t lie?

MS. MCENANY: — there’s no one that should be fact-checked more than the mainstream media that has been continually wrong about a number of things.

To give you a list of some of the most egregious ones: that ABC News, in December of 2017, falsely reported that Flynn would testify that the President directed him, during the campaign, to make contact with the Russians. That was false.

In 2017, your network, CNN, botched their WikiLeaks email exclusive and were forced to make on-air corrections.

CNN’s Jim Sciutto — another CNN one — dropped a fictional bombshell in 2018, July, claiming that Michael Cohen would tell federal investigators that the President knew of the Trump Tower meeting.

And there are many more — not to just put the onus on CNN there.

So if anyone needs to be fact-checked, I think it should be the media.

Q Kayleigh, there are news outlets that make mistakes from time to time. We own up to those mistakes. We corrected those mistakes.

MS. MCENANY: Not always. I have many that you guys haven’t owned up to I could get to.

Q We do, on a regular basis. The President never owns up to any of his false or misleading statements or outright lies.

You have pledged, in this briefing room, to never lie to the American people. Are you saying that the President of the United States has never lied to the public before?

MS. MCENANY: I’m around the President. His intent is always to give truthful information to the American people.

And you mentioned that the media apologizes for their mistruths. I mean, I’m sitting here looking at their headlines. The New York Times saying, “There Aren’t Enough Ventilators to Cope With the Coronavirus.” In fact, we had an excess of ventilators we’ve shipped around the world. Washington Post, “U.S. health system is showing why it’s not ready for a coronavirus pandemic.” We were ready.

There’s many more I could get to. I could — on the coronavirus specifically, I could spend the time going through these, but I don’t think that’s what the American people want to hear.
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