White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany addressed questions at Wednesday’s press briefing about President Donald Trump’s tweeting questioning the motive of a 75-year-old Buffalo man who was pushed to the ground by police. McEnany said we live in a time that is ” reflexively anti-police” and the president sees that as unacceptable and felt that he had to speak out.
KRISTEN WELKER, NBC NEWS: Kayleigh, thank you so much. Does the president regret tweeting out a baseless conspiracy theory about a 75-year-old protester on the morning of George’s funeral? WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY KAYLEIGH MCENANY: The president was asking questions about an interaction in a video clip he saw and the president has the right to ask those questions. WELKER: But does he regret tweeting out this protester was assaulted? MCENANY: The president does not regret standing up for law enforcement men and women across this country. And let me say this, and just give you a little bit about the mindset behind the president’s tweet. Look, we are living in a moment that is–it seems to be reflexively anti-police officer and it’s unacceptable to the president. And tweet that he sent out, he was in no way condoning violence, he was not passing judgment on these two officers in particular, but what he was saying is this, when we see a brief snippet of a video, it’s incumbent upon reporters and those who are surveying the situation to ask questions rather– WELKER: –Is it incumbent upon the president to have facts before he treats anything out? He’s the president of the United States. MCENANY: The president would have facts before he tweeted it out. That undergirded (ph) his question. WELKER: It’s a baseless conspiracy theory. Do you acknowledge that? MCENANY: It’s not baseless conspiracy. No, not at all. I won’t acknowledge that because, look, you had–let’s contrast this to the George Floyd situation, which that horrific video that we all saw. Every single police officer that I saw across the country came out and said this is an inexcusable action and I condemn this police officer. In this case, there were 57 police officers who said I resign in protest over the way these two officers were handled. And the president says those law enforcement officers have a right to be heard. WELKER: Does the president think that anything justifies that 75-year-old man being pushed down to the ground like we all saw in the video? MCENANY: The president does not condone violence. He wants to see the appropriate amount of police force used in any given situation, including this one, but he believes that the officers have a right to be heard.