I have to admit, of all of President Trump’s press secretaries, Kayleigh McEnany is my favorite. She’s regularly demonstrated her ability to handle the media’s gotcha questions and throw them right back in their faces.
On Friday, she absolutely crushed it again when she was asked about the Strategic National Stockpile. Associated Press reporter Jill Colvin asked, “How come on January 2020, the stockpile was as low as it was on supplies like face masks and N95s?”
“It’s a really important question,” replied McEnany. “Perhaps I should redirect your question to President Obama who left the stockpile empty.”
McEnany went on to cite a USA Today fact-check that backed-up the claim that Obama left the stockpile empty.
Colvin then pressed McEnany as to why, three years later, it wasn’t restocked.
“We refilled that stockpile. We got the N-95 masks out — ventilators are another good example, not a single America died for lack of a ventilator — a hundred thousand ventilators in a hundred days, three-times what is produced in the average year. Three-times the amount of N95 respirators our health care industry uses,” she explained.
“We have delivered,” she continued. “We have cleaned up the mess that was very clearly left by President Obama and we got that out.”
After that exchange, Chanel Rion of OANN asked McEnany whether any members of the Obama administration briefed the Trump administration on the depletion of the national stockpile during the transition.
“It’s a really good question. Not to my knowledge. To my knowledge, the two things President Obama warned about were North Korea and Michael Flynn. What I do know is this. The Obama administration wasn’t throwing ventilators into the stockpile. They were unmasking Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn in the waning days of their administration.”
In the waning days of the Obama-Biden administration, they weren’t throwing ventilators in the stockpile.
They were unmasking Lieutenant General Michael Flynn! pic.twitter.com/17GtUhAp54
— Kayleigh McEnany (@PressSec) May 15, 2020
I could watch that over and over.
Barack Obama’s failure to restock the national stockpile is well documented. The shortage of N95 masks can be traced back to the H1N1 (swine flu) pandemic of 2009… when Barack Obama was president. Obama ignored three government reports warning that the stockpile needed to be replenished. Obama had seven years to restore that stockpile. He didn’t. Yet, the media today wants you to believe it’s Trump’s fault. Kayleigh McEnany’s responses to those questions on Friday were spot on.
Matt Margolis is the author of Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama’s Legacy and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis