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Kayleigh McEnany takes a swipe at Jen Psaki during new Fox role

Louise Hall
·3-min read
<p>Kayleigh McEnany has recently taken up a position on Fox News as a commentator</p> (AFP via Getty Images)

Kayleigh McEnany has recently taken up a position on Fox News as a commentator

(AFP via Getty Images)

Former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany has taken a swipe at her successor Jen Psaki, saying that she didn’t need to “circle back” to questions during conferences because of her access to Donald Trump.

Appearing on Fox News on Thursday Ms McEnany reacted to a montage of Joe Biden’s press secretary referring reporters to specific government departments or saying she would “circle back” to certain issues.

In a jab at Ms Psaki, the former press secretary said that “she didn't have to do a ton of circling back because President Trump gave a lot of access to me."

She added: “I always knew where my boss stood. Unlike other press secretaries who maybe didn’t have walk-in privileges, I could walk in at any time ... I always knew where his head was at”.

Ms McEnany, who was known for her brash answers and large binders of prepared information, has recently taken up a position on Fox News as a commentator.

"I wish Jen Psaki all the best, it is a very hard job but that being said, we took great pains in our administration to do hours and hours of research beforehand, days sometimes," she said.

Ms Psaki brought back a return to daily press briefings as she stepped into the new role following their near dissolution under Mr Trump.

Watch: McEnany hits Psaki for 'circle back' remarks, calls out Biden for avoiding press conference

Ms McEnany also hit out at President Joe Biden during the segment, accusing him of staying in the "basement" and avoiding press questions.

“It’s exactly like the campaign. That was his strategy all along,” she said.

The comments come as pressure intensifies for the president to hold a press conference on his own, after his last attempt to answer questions was abruptly cut off by a White House video feed.

Mr Biden, now 44 days into his presidency, is yet to hold the kind of traditional White House press conference at which the president answers reporters’ questions directly.

In comparison, Mr Trump held his first press conference of the sort 27 days in, while President Barack Obama did so on day 20.

Ms McEnany argued that Mr Trump “was always willing to take questions, always willing to go to the podium, always willing to stop on his way to the helicopter.”

While Ms McEnany insisted that Mr Trump “gave transparency” to the press during his time as president, Mr Trump was also known for his harsh treatment of the Washington press corps, having even branded mainstream media the “enemy of the people”. Fact-checkers at the Washington Post estimated that he made more than 30,000 false or misleading statements during his four years in the job.

Before taking up the role as the former president’s fourth and final press secretary, Ms McEnany had previously held a position as a commentator at CNN.

Following her departure from the White House, there had been much speculation that she might take up a role at Fox before her signing as a contributor to offer commentary on various network programmes.

Watch: Biden sides with teachers unions over students in reopening debate

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