Press Briefing by Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany 3 December

The White House

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

1:05 P.M. EST

MS. MCENANY: Good afternoon, everyone. The United States Constitution matters even during a pandemic. While Democrat politicians seek to impose draconian restrictions against their citizens, this past week the Supreme Court of the United States had their say on New York State’s capacity restrictions, which restricted the number of attendees allowed in places of worship but not other government-deemed essential businesses.

Justice Gorsuch, in the ruling, said this as he rolled back Governor Cuomo’s restrictions on places of worship. He said, quote, “It is time — past time — to make plain that, while the pandemic poses many grave challenges, there is no world in which the Constitution tolerates color-coded executive edicts that reopen liquor stores and bike shops but shutter churches, synagogues, and mosques.”

Behind me, you will see displayed images of Democrat hypocrisy playing on loop. These images depict the following:

They show Governor Gavin Newsom of California dining both mask-less and indoors at the fancy French Laundry restaurant despite severe lockdown restrictions against indoor dining for the very people he governs.

You’ll see Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot celebrating in the non-socially distanced streets of her city.

You will see Speaker Nancy Pelosi indoors at a hair salon in San Francisco when salons in California were only open for outdoor services.

And you will see CNN’s Chris Cuomo staging his emergence from quarantine in a made-for-television moment, coming out of the basement. And this was after Cuomo was spotted breaking his brother, Governor Cuomo’s quarantine rules to go for a bike ride in the Hamptons.

Also notable is San Francisco Mayor London Breed, who followed Governor Newsom’s lead in dining at the French Laundry with a group of eight people.

And, finally, Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl dining outdoors at her favorite Santa Monica restaurant after voting to ban outdoor dining at 31,000 restaurants throughout LA, calling outdoor dining “a most dangerous situation.”

Quite clearly, these Democrats do not follow their own edicts. They act in a way that their own citizens are barred from acting.

Governor Cuomo’s decision to impose restrictions on the size of religious gatherings was rebuked by the highest court in the land. But what was Cuomo’s response? Instead of showing deference to the Constitution, he attacked the legitimacy of the Court. Governor Cuomo said this: “You have a different Court, and I think that was the statement that the court was making. We know who he appointed to the court. We know their ideology.”

Well, in fact, the ideology of those on the Supreme Court who made the decision to support the First Amendment are in favor of freedom, the Constitution that survives even during a pandemic.

This statement from Governor Cuomo strikes at the heart of the issue: Democrats seek control. These images behind me make clear Democrats’ mindset: rules for thee but not for me.

The President stands with you, your freedom, your ability to decide how to best protect your health. We all know how to protect ourselves from COVID-19: wash your hands, socially distance, wear a mask.

But as one federal court put it, “There is no pandemic exception to the Constitution.”

And with that, I’ll take questions.

Welcome back, Kristen. Good to have you back.

Q Thank you so much. Good to see you. Thank you. Appreciate it.

I want to ask you about comments that the Attorney General made to the Associated Press. He said, quote, “To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could’ve affected a different outcome in the election.” Given that, why hasn’t President Trump conceded?

MS. MCENANY: So, first, he went on to say this. It was in an AP interview where he made that initial comment, but in that same AP interview, he went on to say that he thinks a lot of people are confusing the use of the federal criminal justice system with allegations that should be made in civil lawsuits. And he discerned the fact that — he said, quote, “There’s a growing tendency to use the criminal justice system as sort of a default fix-all.” And the campaign’s litigation is all civil ligation, which is apart from something that the DOJ would be involved in.

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