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Meet Donald Trump’s new press secretary, who opposes equal marriage and trans-inclusive bathrooms

Emma Powys Maurice April 9, 2020
Kayleigh McEnany

Kayleigh McEnany speaks at a "Keep America Great" campaign rally on January 9, 2020 (Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire/ Getty)

This week Trump welcomed his new White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, a combative TV pundit with a long history of anti-LGBT+ comments.

McEnany has previously worked as Trump’s spokesperson for his re-election campaign and as a pro-Trump commentator on CNN during the 2016 presidential election.

She’s frequently appeared on television to defend him and his policies, revealing some particularly unsavoury views as she does so.

The LGBT+ advocacy group GLAAD has compiled a list of her most egregious comments, which include opposing a bill to ban conversion therapy and repeatedly framing the issue of transgender bathroom access as a “predatory” threat to women and girls.

McEnany has previously argued that the Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage equality is a threat to religious rights, and described late justice Antonin Scalia’s criticism of a pro-marriage equality ruling as “awesome“.

And she dismissed claims of LGBT+ discrimination prior the Supreme Court ruling as nothing more than “farcical blabber.”

“Throughout her career, Kayleigh McEnany has used her role as a commentator to attack LGBTQ people through the press,” GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said in a statement.

“Whether it be her opposition to marriage equality or her attacks on transgender people, McEnany has shown that she knows how to, and even enjoys using the media to spread dangerous, anti-LGBTQ messages to wide audiences.

“Unfortunately, in her new role as press secretary, she will have the power to continue doing so, but now with the White House name attached to hers.”

McEnany has already come under fire for her early statements on the coronavirus, which dangerously downplayed the risk.

“We will not see diseases like the coronavirus come here, we will not see terrorism come here,” she boldly stated on Trish Regan Primetime. “And isn’t that refreshing when contrasting it with the awful presidency of President Obama?”

Since McEnany made the comments on February 25, over 402,000 people in the US have been infected with the coronavirus and nearly 13,000 have died.

Despite her rocky start, she won’t have to try too hard to do better than her predecessor Stephanie Grisham, who didn’t conduct a single press briefing during her nine-month tenure.

More: Coronavirus, Kayleigh McEnany, Republican Party, Trump, trump administration, White House Press Secretary

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