Kayleigh McEnany White House Press Briefing – 3:30pm ET Livestream…

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany is holding a press briefing from the Brady room.  Anticipated start time 3:30pm ET.

UPDATE: Video Added

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[Transcript] – MS. MCENANY: Hello, everyone. The front page of the New York Times is not the venue for discussing classified information. The White House podium is not the venue for discussing classified information. We are here today, having this discussion, because of an irresponsible, anonymous leak to the New York Times. There is no good scenario as a result of this New York Times report.

Who’s going to want to cooperate with the United States intelligence community, who’s going to want to be a source or an asset, if they know that their identity could be disclosed? Which allies will want to share information with us if they know that some rogue intelligence officer can go splash that information on the front page of a major U.S. newspaper?

Specifically, there are two bad scenarios that emerge from this report: Number one, this report makes it more difficult to come to a consensus on this matter, to verify intelligence. And number two, this level of controversy and discord plays directly into the hands of Russia and, unfortunately, serves their interests.

Since before President Trump assumed office, damaging and oftentimes erroneous leaks seeking to undermine or delegitimize the duly elected president have been published. According to the DOJ, classified leaks surged in this administration. There were, under President Obama, just 39, on average, criminal leak referrals. In this administration, we’ve seen 100 criminal leak referrals to the DOJ in 2017, 88 in 2018, and 104 on average per year.

We have seen targeted leaks of classified information against this President, and it is irresponsible: phone calls with foreign leaders, meetings with government officials, and now reports of alleged intelligence. Make no mistake: This damages our ability, as a nation, to collect intelligence.

As the National Security Council noted just yesterday, “To those government officials who betray the trust of the people of the United States by leaking classified information, your actions endanger our national security.”

The ODNI said, “The selective leaking of any classified information disrupts the vital interagency work to collect, assess, and mitigate threats, and places our forces at risk. It is also, simply put, a crime.”

And finally, the CIA said this: that “Leaks compromise and disrupt the critical interagency work to collect, assess, and ascribe culpability.”

To the anonymous sources who leak classified information, you should know this: You may seek to undermine our President, but in fact, you undermine our country’s safety and our country’s security.

And with that, I’ll take questions.

Kristin.

Q Thank you, Kayleigh. When did White House officials first learn that this intelligence about Russian bounties existed?

MS. MCENANY: I will say this: The President was never briefed on this, this intelligence still has not been verified, and there is no consensus among the intelligence community.

Q Does the President wish that he had been briefed sooner? I mean, today, Joe Biden called it a “dereliction of duty.”

MS. MCENANY: This is a piece of intelligence information that had no consensus, has not been verified. Still, to this day, has not been verified. And there are several intelligence agencies on the record noting that. You have the Department of Defense saying that there has — they have no corroborating evidence to validate [sic] — validate the recent allegations. The NSC: “…Allegations in recent press articles have not been verified or substantiated by the intelligence community…” And the ODNI: “We are still investigating the alleged intelligence referenced in recent media reportings.”

But that didn’t stop the New York Times from putting it on the very first page of their newspaper and stopping us from getting to an ultimate conclusion and an ultimate place of having a consensus on the alleged intelligence.

Darlene.

Q You said that —

Q Just one more question. If this intelligence does turn out to be true, is the President prepared to take some serious action against Russia and Russian President Vladimir Putin?

MS. MCENANY: The President has always taken tough, unadulterated action against Russia. We saw that there’s no diplomatic presence on the West Coast of our country, of Russia, because the President closed the consulates. We saw he expelled 60 Russian intelligence officers; sanctioned hundreds of targets; withdrew from the INF Treaty, the Open Skies Treaty; tried to halt Nord Stream — still trying to do that; impose visa sanctions, and many other actions.

So make no mistake: This President is prepared to act and will always act in protecting our American troops. We saw in Syria, in the strikes in 2018, that dozens of Russian mercenaries were killed. He will always act, prot- — to protect American troops. That is indeed his track record.

Darlene.

Q There’s a briefing — an intel briefing on the President’s schedule today. Will this matter be part of his briefing this afternoon?

MS. MCENANY: The President has been briefed on what is unfortunately in the public domain because of the New York Times and the irresponsible leak. Yes, he has been briefed, but that does not change the fact that there is no consensus on this intelligence that still has yet to be verified.

Q I have one more question.

MS. MCENANY: Yeah. Darlene?

Q On another subject: Republican allies of the President, like Kevin McCarthy and Lamar Alexander, have said that it would be great if the President would wear a mask in public, sometimes, to set an example. How much weight do words from McCarthy and Lamar Alexander carry with the President?

MS. MCENANY: The President has said he has no problem with masks; that he encourages people to make whatever decision is best for their safety and to follow what their local jurisdictions say. CDC guidelines are still recommended, but not required. And the President is the most tested man in America. It’s his decision whether to wear a mask.

Justin.

Q But to set an example?

MS. MCENANY: Justin.

Q I wanted to look back on you saying that the President had never been briefed. There’s, I think, some dispute over whether, in February, his PDB included this intelligence information. And so I’m wondering if you can say whether or not, you know, he may not have read the briefing book that he was presented with, but was he at some point at least given access to this information.

MS. MCENANY: So the PDB is a top-secret document that is widely disseminated among government. I will never sit here and confirm or deny what is in a top-secret document. So I’ll leave it at that.

One thing I will say that is routine is when there is intelligence — and I was speaking with some folks over at NSC about this earlier and some other folks around the White House — when we get intelligence — verified or unverified, deemed credible or not credible, deemed consensus or no consensus — if that information in any way impinges upon the safety of our troops, that information goes to our troops on the ground and to our allies so they can take the appropriate measures.

What is briefed up to the President — and in this case, it was not the case; was never briefed to the President of the United States because there was no consensus — what is briefed to the President is when there’s a strategic decision to be made. So in this case, if there was a strategic decision to be made vis-à-vis Russia, those are the kind of things that are briefed to the President when they’re deemed credible. But in this case, it was not briefed to the President, there is no consensus, it was not credible.

But make no mistake: This President will always protect American troops.

Q I mean — sorry, just — just to follow on that. I think there’s two points. One, I would say that press secretaries in the past have disclosed, in certain instances, what was in the PDB.

But secondly, I mean, this is a relevant issue because — and I think critics have seized on this and said, “Well, if the President isn’t reading his PDB, he might not know that there are these policy decisions to be made,” right? If a President was presented with this information, it’s unverified, he could be alarmed; change his posture towards Russia; conceivably ask intelligence officials to work harder to determine whether or not this was true; make, you know, a series of judgments.

And so, I guess more broadly, you know, I would re-ask the question of whether it was in his material, but asking maybe to defend why the President isn’t necessarily reading his PDB when there are these types of issues that could arise.

MS. MCENANY: The President does read, and he also consumes intelligence —

Q So, then it wasn’t in his PDB?

MS. MCENANY: — verbally. This President, I’ll tell you, is the most informed person on planet Earth when it comes to the threats that we face. You have Ambassador O’Brien, who sees him in person twice a day, who sometimes takes the upwards of half a dozen calls with this President. He’s constantly being informed and briefed on intelligence matters.

But I’m not going to allow the New York Times to dictate when we give top-secret information and don’t give top-secret information. That’s —

Q But let me just square the —

MS. MCENANY: — an untenable proposition.

Q Just to square the circle there, then —

MS. MCENANY: Yes, Emerald.

Q Thanks, Kayleigh. Does the White House have any comment on Bruce Ohr testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the Hill today?

MS. MCENANY: So, no comment on that specifically. But what I would say more generally is that what Bruce Ohr and others in the Obama-era government have to answer for is quite substantial: When you had a dossier full of lies weaponizing against this President — Bruce Ohr’s wife, of course, being involved in the creation of that dossier, which was funded by the Democrat National Committee and in coordination with the Hillary Clinton campaign, and was used to spy on the Trump campaign, to be the basis for two FISA warrants, to launch a three-year investigation into Russia collusion that ultimately ended in an exoneration of this President and an immense waste of taxpayer dollars — Mr. Ohr and many others have a whole lot of questions to answer for.

Q So why wasn’t it — why was it behind closed doors? Why wasn’t it televised, given the public interest in these players in the Russia investigation?

MS. MCENANY: That would be a question for Congress, but I think the public deserves to know Mr. Ohr’s answers on those matters.

Q And then one more, if I may. You opened about leakers. Democrat lawmakers are calling for a briefing from intelligence officials. They aren’t satisfied with the White House personnel today. Is there a concern to brief Democrat lawmakers, especially Adam Schiff, given the leaks out of his committee?

MS. MCENANY: Look, I mean, I think that Democrats should come forward in good faith. And if anyone has politicized intelligence — we’ve had the New York Times acting entirely irresponsibly, and you have the Democrat Party politicizing this information, which I think is absolutely disgraceful.

Alayna.

Q Hi. Yes. Thank you, Kayleigh. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell should, quote, “absolutely not,” unquote, be allowed back into the G7. Does President Trump agree with Mitch McConnell?

MS. MCENANY: Look, I haven’t spoken to him on that matter. The President believes that we have to have diplomatic relationship — relations with the top economies of the world. But there’s been no one that’s been tougher on Russia than this President. I went through several of those actions.

And also, I would note that when it comes to acting on viable, actionable, credible intelligence, there has been no one who has acted more forcefully than this President. He has a track record of that. He has made protecting our American troops overseas his highest and strongest priority.

As you know, Soleimani was responsible for the deaths of 600 Americans and thousands maimed from, quote, “explosively formed penetrators, other improvised explosive devices, improvised rocket-assisted munitions, rockets, mortars, rocket-propelled grenades, small-arms, snipers, and other attacks in Iraq.” This is what Soleimani did to our American troops.

You had President Bush, who declined to strike Soleimani, who was, quote “in the crosshairs,” according to the New York Times. You had Obama-Biden who, quote, “never made an effort to strike Soleimani.”

But you had this President who, when he had actionable intelligence to protect American troops, he did it. He took that option. He was criticized by Democrats. “Democrats condemn Trump’s strike on Soleimani,” as your publication, Axios, had in a headline. NBC said, “Democrats demand answers on Soleimani killing.” Politico, “Top Democrats blast Trump’s ‘false’ justification for Soleimani killing.” And the Atlantic asked, “Why Kill Soleimani Now?”

We removed Soleimani from the battlefield — President Trump did — to protect our American troops, based on credible intelligence. He did the same with al-Baghdadi, who was responsible for 300 public beheadings, who killed thousands of captured prisoners of war. When this President had actionable intelligence, he took action, criticized by Democrats for it, but that’s what this President does: He acts in defense of our American troops.

David.

Q You said it was “targeted leaking” in the New York Times. Who’s doing the targeting and why are they doing it?

MS. MCENANY: It’s a — it’s a great question. But these are rogue intelligence officers who are imperiling our troops’ lives. We will not be able to get — very likely not be able to get a consensus on this intelligence because of what was leaked to the New York Times. And you have both the NSC, ODNI, and CIA all noting what damage this leaks does, not just to the safety of our troops, which is paramount, but to the ability of the United States to aggregate information from our allies and have assets and have — get this valuable information. So who’s doing it? It’s —

Q Are you saying members of the IC are going after Trump? Is that what you’re saying?

MS. MCENANY: It very possibly could be. And if that’s the case, it is absolutely despicable.

Q Kayleigh —

MS. MCENANY: Yes.

Q On that note, is the Trump administration doing anything or taking any action, like an audit of the IC? Or what steps are you planning on taking to try to find the source of the leaks?

MS. MCENANY: Well, make no mistake: The DOJ has done several criminal leak referrals — 120 in 2017, 88 in 2018, 104 on average, per year, under President Trump. So we do take those steps.

And we do have a President who, ultimately, when it comes down to the safety of our troops, he doesn’t take impulsive action, he takes deliberate action. And we saw that in the killing of Soleimani and the killing of al-Baghdadi and the protecting of our troops. And at the same time, when you had Iran, who shot down a drone, he chose not to strike back in that instance. He chose to protect civilians, protect our troops. It was the measured response; it was a proportionate response.

And ultimately, the ultimate way to protect American troops is to not get into needless foreign wars. This President is on record for decades and decades and decades opposing — opposing foreign wars. And Iraq is a great example, a 20 — nearly two-decade war. You have this President who, when Washington was unanimous in saying, “We’re going into Iraq,” this President said, “No, that’s not the right decision.”

He’s wound down our troop presence in Afghanistan and Iraq. And he’s ultimately protected American troops and kept this country safe. And this President has a very strong foreign policy record to be incredibly proud of.

Thank you.

END 4:04 P.M. EDT

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80 Responses to Kayleigh McEnany White House Press Briefing – 3:30pm ET Livestream…

  1. mallardcove says:

    Will she read her answers from a card and teleprompter and have pre-selected journalists with pre selected questions asked from them?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Sherri Young says:

    I wonder if she will be asked about an AG Barr impeachment.

    Liked by 18 people

    • Battleship Wisconsin says:

      Impeaching AG Barr is a preemptive strike aimed at keeping the Trump administration from indicting and prosecuting the Spygate perpetrators, the BLM and Antifa domestic terrorists, and anyone caught perpetrating blatant vote fraud in the upcoming election.

      Trump’s reelection in November 2020 now depends upon his being willing and able to confront the domestic terrorists in word and in deed.

      He must also deter those who might engage in vote fraud by announcing his intention to apply the full letter of the law wherever and whenever vote fraud has been discovered.

      See Victor Davis Hanson’s latest article, “Trump Will Win If He Responds to Righteous Voter Rage.”

      Liked by 19 people

      • Sherri Young says:

        Voter fraud is usually supposed to be addressed by the counties and/or the states.

        Suppression of voter rights is a federal civil rights issue so handled by the DOJ.

        Liked by 4 people

    • gabytango says:

      Well, Jim, your reasons are EXACTLY why they are trying to Impeach Barr!

      Liked by 7 people

    • bertdilbert says:

      Bar should introduce an indictment to charge Biden lol.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Sherri Young says:

        That might be part of the reason that the House Democrats are getting trigger-happy right now. AG Barr got President Trump to fire Berman. Berman is the US Attorney who refused to accept the Ukrainian governments evidence against the Bidens, Soros, et al.

        It must be time to take to Twitter to discuss Berman, the Bidens and Ukraine.

        Liked by 9 people

  3. sunnyflower5 says:

    What?!?
    When was the president briefed?
    He wasn’t briefed —the information hasn’t been verified
    Does the President wish he was briefed sooner?

    Liked by 7 people

  4. bullnuke says:

    Media are a joke. Asking what if questions concerning intelligence should be slammed much harder.

    Liked by 8 people

  5. Henry says:

    Masks. Russians. Repeat.

    Liked by 12 people

  6. grandmotherpatriot says:

    President Trump believes in Sovereignty! Masks should be a choice of the people not mandated !

    Liked by 9 people

  7. Henry says:

    Short and sweet punks.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Kevin O'Shea says:

    love Kayleigh – boom

    Liked by 9 people

  9. thedoc00 says:

    Would like to see her open the next press gathering with a nice wet sneeze into the front row. Then give off a nice loud oink oink …. wipe nose and toss Kleenex into front row …. any questions.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. wxobserver says:

    KM just took them to the woodshed over the intelligence leak. If anything would shame them that would have…but of course…they just pretended not to notice the condemnation. That’s why this stuff has to make it directly to the public w/o any filtering so they can see just exactly what goes on.

    Liked by 11 people

    • bertdilbert says:

      If the media is still on Russia, they are scraping the bottom of the barrel looking for a story.

      Liked by 9 people

    • bessie2003 says:

      I like how KM is teaching the press that wasting her time asking stupid, repetitive questions, means no time left for them to ask real questions. Each new press briefing gets shorter and shorter. Wonder how long, if ever, it will take the press there to figure it out.

      Liked by 9 people

      • wxobserver says:

        Excellent observation!

        Liked by 5 people

      • FrankieZee says:

        They will never figure it out. They don’t know what a honest real question is. They never talk about CHINA, so we know who is paying their masters.

        Liked by 5 people

        • thedoc00 says:

          There was a B (minus) Comedy Movie that fits this situation, “Mom and Dad Save the World” that included a weapon called a “light grenade”. It had “Pick Me Up” written on it. The bad guys and some of the good guys in the movie were so dumb that they would pick up the grenade only to be disintegrated. Once scene had a group of bad guy soldiers hovering over a light grenade and 1 by 1 they picked it up and were disintegrated. Before the last guy picked up the grenade, he calls headquarters and says they need to send more soldiers.

          Liked by 1 person

      • MelH says:

        Kayleigh told them, afew weeks ago, she would answer 20 questions at each press briefing. when she leaves, you can count she answered 20 questions.

        Liked by 2 people

  11. helmhood says:

    And the markets close up over 200 points today, for the best quarter in almost 20 years.

    So much for Dr. Doom in the senate hearing, and the hyperventilating DC media.

    Trump Economy = Winning

    Liked by 20 people

    • David M Kitting says:

      The economy, aka The People, are going to move this Country forward despite the (D)estructive designs of the domestic enemies. They hate freedom.
      No Country for Old Slave (D)rivers.
      To the victors, go the spoils.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Eaglet says:

    Virus/Protests/Masks/Virus/Protests/Masks Election

    Liked by 5 people

  13. Eaglet says:

    lol “Yes, the President can Read” un real

    Liked by 4 people

  14. P says:

    Kayleigh is always so awesome!! What a blessing she is to President Trump and all of us.

    Liked by 13 people

  15. MicD says:

    Thank You.
    Bah Bye Dirty Diaper Faces 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  16. solomonpal says:

    I always get a nice little jolt of endorphins when I see her smile… is that wrong? I don’t with Stacey Abrams.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Clydeen says:

      With Kayleigh you are getting the endorphins that boost pleasure but endorphins also reduce pain so you probably would get those when viewing Stacey. Just not as noticeable.

      Liked by 3 people

  17. bessie2003 says:

    This whole supposed intelligence leak is upsetting. Hope the perpetrators are caught, soon. Am beginning to wonder (a) is this really just about making the President look bad; (b) is the head of the CIA that incompetent that they can’t find out who is doing these constant leaks and (c) is she, the CIA head also a target, i.e. are these leaks also intended to take her out, make her look bad too, sort of an inside the agency ego turf battle being played out in the press?

    Liked by 8 people

  18. visage13 says:

    So there have been many criminal referrals how many people are in jail for those leaks?

    Liked by 4 people

  19. hawkins6 says:

    Brilliant Kayleigh “There’s no good scenario as a result of this NYT’s response,”

    She is certainly correct from her point of view and most Americans. But it is another despicable, reckless, political benefit for the Dems if another treacherous leak results in a lack of cooperation with allies and fears of exposure by Intel assets etc. Even before Trump was elected, daily efforts began to destroy his credibility and destroy his campaign.

    Ever since he became President, there have been daily efforts to destroy his POTUS credibility and to hinder, harm, obstruct, disparage and ruin him and impede his administration’s efforts. With only months to go to the election, they are ramping up on city streets and everywhere else they can start a riot, perform a dirty trick, encourage beatings or killings (no police, no bail) or other deliberately treacherous acts to weaken his support.

    But even after this long unbroken streak of nefarious deeds, schemes, leaks and dirty tricks etc the latest one is always treated like a separate and unconnected act.

    Liked by 4 people

  20. wondering999 says:

    One of the press people held up Lamar Alexander (R-TN) as criticizing our President for not wearing a mask? If you want to give Lamar Alexander your viewpoint on this, Personally I like having my CHOICES and if I’m not sick, I don’t favor the mask. I think masks are creepy, and meant to slow down identification of people like the Provo Utah shooter. But Alexander is free to wear a mask if he wishes, or if he is sick

    https://contactsenators.com/tennessee/lamar-alexander

    Liked by 2 people

  21. wondering999 says:

    On the Twitter page with Alexander’s comments, there was some anti-Trumper saying that this Russia bounty is “worse than Benghazi”.

    Which immediately makes me think: Is some news about Benghazi in the pipeline?

    Because Benghazi WAS a disgrace. I was surprised Clinton didn’t resign immediately after Benghazi. It was beyond chutzpah, after Benghazi, that HRC ran for the presidency. I would never vote for her after that. She’s a bad manager

    Liked by 2 people

    • wondering999 says:

      If the sedition in our intelligence community is so bad that they would withhold vital information, or — more likely — DISTORT information to start a war, who needs these people and their disinformation and sedition, including NYT.

      For all of the anti-Putin agitation and attempts by the “Resistance” to begin World War III, what sticks in my mind is that after Obama expelled almost all of all the Russian diplomats… and after, mysteriously, 11 Russian diplomats died around the globe (smells like Arkancide to me)… Putin talked with Flynn and held off, and invited the children of American diplomats to a Christmas Party. I don’t for a minute imagine that Putin has not killed whoever gets in his way, but I don’t think Putin tries to start wars the way some of our “leaders” try to do. We have people like Mattis & Co. who want us in Afghanistan. I don’t want our people there. One of my friends has a son headed to Afghanistan soon. I’d rather he were at home, raising his baby son.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. The Gipper Lives says:

    Huh–I guess Ali Watkins is dating again.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Like KM a lot she is a smart and quite,She is doing a great job,

    Like

  24. deplorablepubliussyrus says:

    That was a mighty takedown of the NY Slimes and the traitors who leaked to them.

    I can watch KM all day long….
    someone needs to make a compilation youtube of her best slams and the dismayed views of the little worms in the press pool writhing in pain and impotent fury.

    Speaking of worms, where is Accost Her- he still banned?

    Like

  25. texasooz57 says:

    I really like the way Kayleigh bitch-slapped the stupid media today about the classified intelligence leaks to the NYT and the irresponsible, dangerous journalism of the NYT on this issue. And she did it in her usual classy way.

    She and Sidney Powell are modern day heroines.

    Like

  26. TwoLaine says:

    Why is that lady in the presstitute pool wearing panties on her face?

    Like

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