Friday’s White House press briefing marked the first in more than a month and gave press secretary Kayleigh McEnany her first opportunity to discuss the still-contested presidential election.
As reported by The Hill, the majority of the event focused on the Trump administration’s COVID-19 response, but McEnany fielded one question by a CNN correspondent at the end of the news conference by dismissing her as an activist
First press briefing since Election Day
McEnany took a number of questions about the recent election, including some pointed inquiries regarding President Donald Trump’s allegations of voter fraud and ballot irregularities.
The rapid-fire questions from White House reporters possibly led her to cut the briefing short after taking a select few questions from the journalists gathered in front of her.
CNN’s Kaitlan Collins shouted out a question as McEnany wrapped things up, questioning her decision not to take questions from all the reporters present.
“I don’t call on activists,” McEneny shot back.
The fiery exchange was widely shared on social media.
“Someone who hasn’t done their job”
WATCH Kayleigh McEnany get SAVAGE on CNN’s Kaitlan Collins: “I don’t call on activists.” pic.twitter.com/PdotunS5iy
— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) November 20, 2020
Collins managed to interject her own take even after the video footage cut out, replying: “I’m not an activist and you haven’t taken questions since Oct. 1. … That’s not doing your job — your taxpayer-funded job.”
Following the briefing, Collins joined many of her colleagues in decrying McEnany’s behavior, asserting that it is “understandable why someone who hasn’t done their job — taking questions from reporters — in weeks would confuse someone else doing theirs with activism.”
“Appearing in her professional capacity, [McEnany] takes only a handful of questions in her first briefing since Oct. 1,” the CNN correspondent tweeted. “Asked why can’t call on all reporters — given it’s been so long and there are not many of us due to social distancing — she called me ‘an activist.'”
April Ryan, a cable-news colleague and frequent Trump critic, defended Collins in a tweet: “So reporting the truth and asking questions for real answers and truth makes you an activist then so be it.”