Press Briefing by Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany 23 June

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

1:28 P.M. EDT

MS. MCENANY: Hello, everyone. This past Father’s Day weekend, we saw violence across the country, but we saw scant media coverage of this violence.

Let’s be clear here: The states are responsible for policing their streets. The governors, the mayors are responsible for ensuring that our streets are safe, that the American people are protected. And what we have seen is, in far too many Democrat-runs states and Democrat-run cities, we have seen violence and chaos and nothing like the law and order that we saw here in D.C. when President Trump stepped in and surged the National Guard.

In Chicago, for instance, we saw over 100 people were shot and 14 tragically killed, including a three-year-old was among the victims. And one local news outlet tragically reported that multiple teenagers were killed in Chicago this weekend as well.

In Minneapolis, 11 people were shot and one person killed. One individual was a father of two who worked as a barber and our hearts break for this family.

Also in Democrat-run New York City, we saw that the New York Post reported that there was one shooting per hour this Saturday — absolutely inexcusable — with 24 people shot on Saturday alone.

And then in Democrat-run Seattle, we’ve seen the autonomous zone, otherwise known as “CHOP” — C-H-O-P. One person was shot and killed in this autonomous zone run by radical anarchists. And also, we saw another shooting there yesterday as well. And the Democrat mayor of the city called CHOP, quote, “the Summer of Love,” but it has been nothing of this sort, clearly, with two individuals shot, one person shot and killed.

It is the responsibility of governors to protect their states, to police their streets. The police power rests at the state level. And we expect mayors to step up and to do their job, and governors to step up and do their job in the mold of President Trump, who secured D.C. after a night of lawlessness two weeks ago.

Finally, the Defund Police movement is misguided. It will only hurt the vulnerable citizens of American cities the most. It’s sad, and it is shameful.

And with that, I’ll take questions. Yes.

Q Kayleigh, thank you. Has the President actually directed officials to slow down the rate of coronavirus testing?

MS. MCENANY: No, he has not directed that. And, in fact, I would note that, first, we continue to test about 500,000 per day, about half a million people per day. $1.8 billion is invested in NIH to find new testing capabilities. Any suggestion that testing has been curtailed is not rooted in fact.

And, yeah, I would just note the extraordinary efforts of this administration: more than, at this point, 26.7 million tests, and we should be north of that.

Q So when he told us — when he said Saturday that he told his people to slow it down, what did he mean by that?

MS. MCENANY: The President was trying to expose — what the media oftentimes does is they ignore the fact that the United States has more cases because we have more testing. We are leading the world in testing, and he was pointing that out that it’s a fact that the media readily ignores.

Q So what he’s saying — that he told officials to — he told his people to slow down testing is not true?

MS. MCENANY: It was a comment that he made in jest. It’s a comment that he made in passing, specifically with regard to the media coverage and pointing out the fact that the media never acknowledges that we have more cases because when you test more people, you find more cases.

Q Is it appropriate to joke about coronavirus when 120,000 people have died?

MS. MCENANY: He was not joking about coronavirus. I just said he was joking about the media and their failure to understand the fact that when you test more, you also find more cases.


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