Sierra Martin & Amira Van Leeuwen | Staff Reporters
SAN MARCOS – Kayleigh McEnany, 33rd White House Press Secretary for former United States President, Donald Trump and current Fox News contributor spoke at a Turning Point USA event at Texas State University on Nov. 6, 2021.
McEnany is a graduate of Georgetown University where she majored in International Politics. She made many appearances on CNN as a paid commentator in 2016 while earning her Law degree at Harvard University, and started supporting Trump shortly after he announced his run for the presidency.
“I realized we needed someone like [Trump] when I was on my campus and speaking out my views I was essentially bullied for speaking my opinion that would go against their liberal views,” McEnany said.
A year later, she was appointed the spokesperson for the Republican National Committee and shortly after in 2020, served as the White House Press Secretary for the Trump Administration.
McEnany was on the campaign trail but went home to Florida when the COVID-19 pandemic began and the campaign went virtual. She was under lockdown and spending time with her newborn when she received a call from an odd series of numbers. It was the President.
Trump called McEnany and asked her if she would be his new White House Press Secretary. Trump’s former press secretary, Sarah Sanders, had resigned and the administration had gone 400 days without a press secretary.
McEnany said the first thing Trump asked was if her family would be okay without her.
McEnany said preparing for her first press briefing was an “academic and spiritual” preparation. A day in her life as Press Secretary entailed sitting around the fireplace with President Trump and going through every possible question the press could ask.
One of her favorite moments of being Press Secretary was when she “called out” Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi for getting her haircut in the height of the pandemic.
“I brought the headlines, the receipts of the reporters and what they did wrong,” McEnany said. “When they challenged me, I challenged them back.”
McEnany said the questions to the new press secretary are a lot easier than what she had to answer. She also says there are mistruths to answers by President Joe Biden’s Press Secretary, Jen Psaki. Some of the mistruths she listed were Psaki saying there is no crisis on the Southern border, there were no Americans stranded in Afghanistan and Trump never did anything constructive in the Middle East.
McEnany also spoke about how the nation’s symbols are under attack with the Biden Administration.
“We used to have a phrase in this country, leave no man behind. But we left our men behind,” McEnany said in reference to American troops and allies being left in Afghanistan.
While working with President Trump, McEnany said he would cut, tear and re-write the speeches for the press briefings. She also enjoyed taking trips on Air Force 1, which she described as “the ultimate first-class experience.”
Louis Mayes, Political Science Major at Texas State University and TPUSA member thought that McEnany’s message to know the facts and be bold is what stood out the most. The experience brought clarity to Mayes’ political views.
“Before I started at the university, I was a democrat, I voted for Biden and I got my whole family to vote for Biden,” said Mayes. “But after stepping foot on the university, I started shifting more to the right. After today, it just confirmed that I belong here. I belong with conservatives, this is my home.”
Weston Martinez, who is running for Texas Land Commissioner, thinks the most important takeaway from McEnany’s speech is her nonverbal communication.
“I think that she gave conservative young women hope that they can embrace their ideals and their principles, and not feel ashamed about it,” Martinez said.
Currently, McEnany is working as a co-host on the Fox News show “Outnumbered” alongside Harris Faulkner and Emily Compagno.
Disclaimer: The quotes included are a close approximation of Kayleigh McEnany’s speech, no audio recordings were taken while she was speaking.