WASHINGTON D.C. – White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany gave an extremely short news briefing on Thursday on the violent riots at the U.S. Capitol building the day before, quickly leaving the room without taking any questions from reporters present.
McEnany, who stated that she was speaking on behalf of the entire White House, attempted to separate the Trump Administration from the violent breach at the Capitol, despite the fact that the President himself had encouraged attendees at a rally held earlier in the day to march there and protest the outcome of the 2020 election.
Nonetheless, McEnany condemned what she referred to as “appalling, reprehensible” violence at the Capitol, and stated that those who had violently besieged the Capitol would answer to justice.
“Let me be clear. The violence we saw yesterday at our nation’s Capitol was appalling, reprehensible and antithetical to the American way. We condemn it, the president, and this administration, in the strongest possible terms. It is unacceptable, and those who broke the law should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
McEnany said that the incident at the Capitol – which left five dead, including a police officer, and many injured – was the work of a group of “violent rioters undermining the legitimate First Amendment rights of the many thousands who came to peacefully have their voices heard in our nation’s capital. Those who violently besieged our capitol are the opposite of everything this administration stands for.”
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The rioters had stormed the Capitol to allegedly halt Congress from counting the electoral votes of President-elect Joe Biden and ratifying him as the winner of the November 2020 Presidential election. President Trump, who previously vowed never to concede the election to Biden, finally did so via a video statement released yesterday amid increasing demands for his removal from office in connection to his role in Wednesday’s riots.
McEnany echoed Trump’s statement about the incoming Biden administration, and acknowledged that it was time to move forward.
“It’s time for America to unite,” she said. “Those who are working in this building are working to ensure an orderly transition of power.”
McEnany, after less than two minutes, abruptly ended her briefing and immediately exited the room to a cacophony of shouted questions and cries of “Where is the President?” from the gathered reporters.