The establishment media has found its latest false charge against President Donald Trump, thanks to a debate question from Fox News host Chris Wallace on Tuesday, and reporters are now asking him through his administration officials if he will denounce white supremacy for the bajillionth time.
Two media cycles over the question led White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany to school Fox News reporter John Roberts on Thursday at a news briefing.
Watch the exchange here:
Roberts asked McEnany, “I would like to ask you for a definitive and declarative statement without ambiguity or deflection. As the person who speaks for the president, does the president denounce white supremacism and groups that espouse it in all their forms?”
McEnany quickly made mincemeat of Roberts and his question.
She responded: “This has been answered. Yesterday by the president himself. The day before by the president himself on the debate stage. The president was asked this. He said, ‘sure’ three times. Yesterday, he was point-blank asked, ‘Do you denounce white supremacy,’ and he said ‘I have always denounced any form of that.’”
McEnany then rattled off even more examples of the president condemning white supremacy.
That wasn’t enough for Roberts, who asked accused McEnany of “reading a bunch of quotes from the past.”
“I’m just asking you to put this to rest… Can you right now denounce white supremacy…?”
McEnany responded, “I just did,” before accusing Roberts of “contriving a storyline and a narrative.”
Of course, that’s exactly what Roberts was doing.
Roberts wasn’t seeking an answer to a question, he was seeking to make an inference by appearing to ask a question.
Needless to say, the exchange between Roberts and McEnany garnered a lot of attention online:
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) October 1, 2020
If she said “yes,” they’d ask why they can’t hear that from the president’s own mouth. Which is why she’s challenging the premise of the question by reading off a list of things that were, previously, said by Trump himself. https://t.co/qJCEQK8nzM
— Dan McLaughlin (@baseballcrank) October 1, 2020
The problem w/the question “will the President condemn white supremacy?” is that the future tense implies he hasn’t. That is precisely why Kayleigh lists off every time that the President has. It’s not evasive. It’s challenging the premise. People like Aaron believe you’re dumb. https://t.co/hQLGqSsaBA
— Erielle Davidson (@politicalelle) October 1, 2020
She literally reads quotes from Trump denouncing “racism, bigotry and white supremacy.”
Did you even watch the video? https://t.co/UNGxXt2cPT
— Dave Rubin (@RubinReport) October 1, 2020
I’ve really never seen anything like this. McEnany reads Trump’s denunciation from *yesterday*, and the reporters dismiss it as being a “past statement”. I guess they expire quickly.
These people just create their own reality as they go. https://t.co/mbm7YHYMMR
— The Partyman (@PartymanRandy) October 1, 2020
Roberts, apparently rattled by McEnany and all of the attention on Twitter, later threw a tantrum live on Fox News.
Roberts said on the network: “For all of you on Twitter who are hammering me for asking that question, I don’t care. Because it’s a question that needs to be asked, and clearly the president’s Republican colleagues a mile away from here are looking for an answer for it too. So stop deflecting. Stop blaming the media.”
“I’m tired of it,” he muttered.
Wow! Fox’s @johnrobertsFox hits back at Twitter users after being criticized by some for asking @PressSec to denounce white supremacy: “For all of you on Twitter who are hammering me for asking the question, I don’t care. Stop deflecting. Stop blaming the media. I’m tired of it.” pic.twitter.com/RyMwc4SuaQ
— TV News HQ (@TVNewsHQ) October 1, 2020
Of course, Roberts’ question was merely a continuation of the veiled attack launched against Trump during Tuesday’s debate in Cleveland by Wallace, in which Trump told right-wing groups to back off from interacting with leftist rioters, and rightly pointed out that the leftists have been behind most of the country’s political violence this year.
Chris Wallace: “Are you willing, tonight, to condemn white supremacists and militia groups…?”
President Trump: “Sure, I’m willing to do that…Proud Boys, stand back and stand by! But I’ll tell you what…somebody’s got to do something about Antifa and the left.” pic.twitter.com/9gJ8qyO4hL
— CSPAN (@cspan) September 30, 2020
People are missing that when Wallace asked if Trump would condemn white supremacists HE SPECIFICALLY ASKED Trump to tell them to “stand down.”
Trump said “sure” 3x and then used Wallace’s OWN WORDS to tell Proud Boys to “stand down.”
WATCH THE CLIP ⬇️pic.twitter.com/E8wRrpJaDX
— Jenna Ellis (@JennaEllisEsq) September 30, 2020
Wallace: “Are you willing to condemn white supremacists?”
Wallace: “And to say that they need to stand down”
Trump: “Sure, I’m prepared to do it. Give me a name.”
Biden: “Proud Boys.”
Trump: “Proud Boys, stand back & stand by.”
THAT’s the truth. MSM is lying.
— Liz Wheeler (@Liz_Wheeler) October 1, 2020
Trump, hit from two directions, said “stand by,” as opposed to “stand down,” and so now we’re at an intersection where a president who just designated the KKK and antifa as terror groups, according to the New York Post, is at the center of another manufactured media controversy linking him to white supremacy.
Ironically, the Proud Boys have also denounced white supremacy:
“I will go out and say that the #ProudBoys as a whole, I will say this on behalf of the entire national organization, denounce white supremacy.” – Thad, Chief of the Proud Boys Salt Lake Utah Chapter pic.twitter.com/WGlUEx3jeF
— ????? ?????? (@brian_schnee) October 1, 2020
Biden, meanwhile, referred to antifa as an “idea” during the debate and was not pressed on the issue.
Ideas, of course, don’t target and apparently assassinate Trump supporters in Portland, Oregon.
But back to Roberts, whose question was part of a contrived media narrative, just like so many others.
Trump has always disavowed white supremacy, and was never linked to white supremacist ideas until he ran for office as a Republican.
Wow, this is Chris Wallace asking Trump the same question in 2016.
Any “journalists” wanna share this?
— Dave Rubin (@RubinReport) October 1, 2020
And as McEnany pointed out in a Twitter post, Roberts’ own wife, ABC News correspondent Kyra Phillips, had tweeted out word on Wednesday that Trump had denounced white supremacy.
On the LEFT: Trump denounces white supremacy on Wednesday while speaking to John Roberts’ wife
On the RIGHT: 24 hours later, John Roberts wonders why Trump hasn’t denounced white supremacists pic.twitter.com/qRqIUVwXbi
— Kelb Hull (@CalebJHull) October 1, 2020
The premise of Roberts’ question was the point, and not the answer.
Of course, the only thing gained from Roberts’ attempting to bait McEnany with a loaded question on Thursday is that we continue to learn that Fox News, outside of a few blocks in the evening and early morning, no longer appears interested in serving its loyal audience by reporting the truth.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.