Donald Trump’s press secretary Kayleigh McEnany has packed up her office at the White House, days before president-elect Joe Biden is sworn into office, though she is expected to remain in the role until the president’s term ends on 20 January.
Her departure on Friday came more than a week after her final press conference which amounted to a two-minute statement in the wake of the deadly insurrection at the US Capitol, fuelled by the president’s pervasive lie that the 2020 election was “stolen” from his supporters.
She insisted that “those who violently besieged our Capitol are the opposite of everything this administration stands for” and that “those who are working in this building are working to ensure an orderly transition of power” – despite the president’s months-long refusal to commit to do so. The press secretary took no questions from the reporters in the room.
Following a career in right-wing cable news commentary, Ms McEnany was named the Republican National Committee’s national spokesperson in August 2017 before joining the Trump campaign as its national press secretary in 2019.
She entered the White House in April 2020 following the nine-month tenure of Stephanie Grisham, who did not hold a single press briefing.
She will reportedly be working remotely from Tampa, Florida, through the end of Trump’s term.
As reports circulated on Friday that she was packing up her West Wing office, she wrote on Twitter: “As I leave the White House, I have the privilege of reading notes from incredible servants to our country.”
In her first briefing with reporters, Ms McEnany swore she would “never lie to you – you have my word on that:.
However she amplified the president’s false claims throughout the coronavirus pandemic and the 2020 presidential election.
Her 10-month term behind the lectern – the fourth person in Trump administration to hold the position – was marked by obfuscation and spin as the US saw thousands of daily Covid deaths, and the president spread baseless fraud conspiracies ahead of Election Day. White House reporters repeatedly grew frustrated in combative briefings.
President-elect Biden has named Jen Psaki – a former White House communications director and State Department spokesperson – as his White House press secretary.