May 1 Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany Holds a Briefing
3:27AM May 2, 2020
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So good afternoon I have an announcement for you on hospital funding as appropriated in the third phase of Coronavirus relief. The Trump administration will distribute a total of $12 billion and provide a relief fund payments to 395 hospitals across the country that have been hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. that required hospital inpatient care. 10 billion of the 12 billion will go towards hospitals treating 100 or more COVID-19 admissions. HHS is what is this additional $2 billion to these 395 hospitals in proportion to the amount of care they provide to low income and uninsured patients. This is consistent with our effort to ensure that Americans who need federal government assistance the most receive it. We'll be releasing a breakdown of the states receiving this funding and the counties receiving this funding before your awareness. New York, New Jersey and Illinois received the most funding by states. While New York, New York, Bronx, New York and cook Illinois received the most funding by county as determined by our metrics. Our health care providers as President Trump has repeatedly acknowledged our heroes as we work to defeat the invisible enemy. This relief funding will help these heroes defeat this virus and reacting to cares relief. I love what this one provider said. So he said Thank you and God, thank you and God for this relief. I have tears in my eyes out of gratitude for these funds. Thank you so so so much. Additionally, 100 flights as part of project airbridge had been completed to date. These flights have expedited nearly 1 billion pieces of PPE for our healthcare heroes. The third phase of Coronavirus relief also included $320 billion in additional funding for the paycheck Protection Program which, as you all know provides forgivable loans to small businesses in order to keep their employees on payroll. This program has been extraordinarily successful during the First round of PPP loans 1.6 million loans were issued to small businesses. Of those 1.6 million loans. 1 million of them were given to companies with 10 or fewer employees. So it has gone to small businesses and businesses that need it most. But the PPP look, it's not just another government program. This is supporting everyday Americans who through no fault of their own have found themselves in this predicament. We saw this firsthand at the White House on Tuesday. On Tuesday, President Trump welcomed small business owners and employees to the White House. These small businesses received PPP loans, which helped them pay their employees during the pandemic. Bitty and Beau's was among the small businesses. Welcome to the White House. Bitty and Beau's employs 120 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It's a coffee shop not too far away from here, Bitty and Beau's had to temporarily close its doors but because of PPP loans, Bitty and Beau's was able to rehire all of its employees and I had the real honor of getting to meet Michael Hyope.. He's one of the employees that biddies input videos and he offered some words of encouragement to our country and they really touched my heart and I think they'll touch the heart of them of America if you guys wouldn't mind playing those remarks.
President Trump and Ivanka, thanks a lot for joining us. Thank you, Mr. President, for having us. I love my job and I am excited about going back to work. At Bitty and Beau's. We like to use a phrase called not broken. That means me and all my amazing co workers are not broken. And we have lots to offer. I know the great country of the United States isn't broken either. So on behalf of myself, Megan and Amy and all the employees have been involved. Thank you for inviting us over. You guys are family
Michael's an incredible young man, I gave him a call yesterday and asked him what he was up to. And he said he and his fellow employees were literally handwriting notes to put in with their coffee packages that they send out to consumers. And I received one of these notes from another company. And it really does put a smile on your face. And Michael's doing that each and every day and Bitty and Beau's, they represent the hope and opportunity that is on the horizon for America's workers as their body, their their business rather embodies the American spirit. Workers like Michaels show that this country is not broken, and that we will recover together. Michael, thank you. You're an American hero. Thank you for sharing that message of hope. And with that, I'll take questions, not
Kayleigh, if I could. Welcome to the podium for the first time. Thank you as well. The markets are down substantially today after the President yesterday suggested in the eastern that he might use tariffs to punish China over the Coronavirus. Is there any serious consideration being given to putting new tariffs on China or Was the President just spitballing yesterday?
Look, I won't get ahead of any announcements from the president, but I will echo the President's displeasure with China. It's no secret that China has handled this situation. Just a few examples for you. They did not share the genetic sequence until a professor in Shanghai did so on his own. The very next day, China's shut down his lab for quote, rectification. They slow walked information on human to human transmission alongside the World Health Organization and didn't let us investigators in at a very important time. So we take displeasure with China's actions, but I certainly won't get ahead of the president with those announcements. Is
the President seriously considering forcing China to pay some sort of compensation, reparations, whatever word you want to put on it?
Again, when it comes to retaliatory measures? I will not get ahead of the President on that.
Thank you, Kayleigh and welcome to the podium, as well, as the President said yesterday that he has a high degree of confidence that the Coronavirus originated in a lab in Wuhan, China and yet his own intelligence agencies say they're still investigating. So does the President have information? And has he drawn a conclusion that the intelligence community has not yet?
Well, the President's statement is consistent with the other intelligence assessments. While we continue to have very limited and dubious data from China. Current assessments indicated that President Trump's statement is consistent with what some animal analysts believe is the epicenter of where the virus began. And I would note, that intelligence statement you're referring to really made two points, one, that this virus originated in China, two that it began through contact with infected animals or was the result of an accident at a laboratory and Wuhan. So I consider that consistent with what the President said that he's seen intelligence suggesting it could be in a Wuhan laboratory
seem to lean into the idea that this started in a laboratory whereas the statement that we saw from the DNI said, we're still investigating those two options that you just laid out. Is the President in any way of creating mixed messages by not saying coastal investigate?
No, you know, let me remind everyone intelligence is just an estimate, essentially. And it's up to policymakers to decide what to do with that intelligence. This in this case, the policymakers, the President of the United States, and he'll make that decision at the right time.
He was close to deciding what to do about China's is he received any recommendations of the consequences? Is he anywhere near a decision?
Look, again, I won't get ahead of the President's decision or the timing of that decision. But he takes this very seriously because the decisions of China that I referenced, slow walking some of that information, put American lives at risk, and rest assured this President has one priority, and that is the safety and the well being of American lives.
Welcome on. This isn't more than 100 days since the press secretary stood up there
wanted to get a better sense of what your plan
is. Are you planning to do these in a daily basis at this point, and also, will you pledge never to lie to us from that podium, I
will never lie to you. You have my word on that. As to the timing of the briefings on we do plan to do them. I will announce timing of that forthcoming, but we do plan to continue these
down to welcome to the to the podium. Question for you project work, work speed. Can you give us some more details on the president said ultimately, he's in charge of this project. But will there be a day to day point person on this? What's the budget for this project? And when can the American people realistically expect that there will be a vaccine available to everyone?
Well, there is a day to day point person and that's the president, the United States President Trump. And with regard to vaccines, I would note the words of Dr. Fauci, which are these going into a phase one trial within three months of getting the sequence is unquestionable, the world indoor record, nothing has ever gone this fast. So what the President is doing and under the President's leadership, we're in phase one faster than ever before, according to Dr. Fauci. And that should encourage the American people
budget in the budget and then There's really no other point person. I mean, another president, ultimately, I guess the buck stops with the president, but he hasn't put us somebody on the on the staff.
I'm not again, I'm not going to get into any details as to exactly how that works. But just rest assured, we're on an accelerated pace to a vaccine, at least for this phase one portion of clinical trial.
Thanks. The the Fed yesterday took an action that appeared designed to allow oil companies to access their lending facilities. So I'm wondering if the President has spoken to Chairman Powell about this, if he's happy about the move, and if the White House was considering any additional assistance to the oil.
So I won't get into the President's personal discussions, but I would just note that the President is always looking out for the nearly 11 million American workers in the oil industry. I would also note that we're filling the strategic petroleum reserve right now. And we'll buy 75 million barrels. So that's the only announcements I have on the oil front today. Yes, hello
today. Thank you for saving. The President tweeted This Morning about the protests in Michigan. He essentially said that the governor of Michigan should work with the protesters. He called them very good people and said that they are very angry. Some of those protests I'm sure you saw included, you know, heavily armed protesters, members of militia groups. I wonder if the President was speaking about those specific members who stormed the Capitol in Michigan when you talk about very good.
Look, the President was referencing generally that in this country, you have a First Amendment right to protest. I think that's something we all treasure here. And we should rightfully, you have a right to do that, constitutionally, but you must protest within the bounds of the law. He encourages everyone to protest lawfully and also to engage in our social distancing guidelines, which we think all Americans should engage in.
You have any response to just the imagery of you know, people with long guns essentially storming the Capitol going into face off with police officers and intimidating in some way. Some of the lobbying
against the president says you know that we must protest lawfully and act within bounds of the law.
Yes, thank you for being here. When the President
says we did a spectacular job, but when Jared Kushner talks about a great success story, some Americans see it as a lack of empathy. What's your understanding reaction?
Look, you know, Jared Kushner has, first of all done a great job for this administration. And what I would say to that is that his when he talks about a success story, he was talking about the story of this administration, which is a story of mobilization for the American people, the greatest mobilization of American industry since World War Two, of course, we grieve for every American life that has been lost. But we want the American people to be confident in the response of this administration. And that is what he was referring to the fact that in the average year, the healthcare industry uses 25 million N95 mass and we have delivered in this short time 75 million N95. Mass more than three times what the healthcare sector uses in a year. That's extraordinary. It's extraordinary that you know, some of the media were saying that we needed a million ventilators and this President has we haven't we've needed far short of that. So far not not a single American has died for lack of a ventilator and the fact that this President can look the American people in the eye and say, I am producing 100,000 ventilators this year alongside the private sector 100,000 ventilators, it's three times what we produce in the average year, I'd consider that a great success on behalf of the American people.
It's more about the tone that the policy itself,
we want to give the American people confidence that they have a federal government that is doing everything in our power to provide the necessary equipment to convert to combat this invisible enemy. we grieve for the American lives. We've said that repeatedly. I will echo that today. My heart breaks for those I pray regularly for those who are affected by the Coronavirus, but we're going to give confidence to the American people that you have a federal government under President Donald Trump that's going to step up and give the greatest mobilization of the private sector since World War Two.
Yes. Thank you so much, Katie. Thanks for being here. President Trump mentioned the situation in Brazil a few times this week, besides talks of cutting off flights from Brazil, are there talks of in terms of sending assistance to Brazil sending BP or ventilators to Brazil? And is President Trump planning to talk with President personnel?
For the President has mentioned that he has sent ventilators around the world any excess supply? We certainly look to help other countries. But you know, in terms of a specific announcement regarding Brazil, I don't have any new information for you on that front today.
Kelly, welcome. One of the most important parts of your job, though, is to have access to the President. Can you give us some indication that since you've been named press secretary, what kind of access Do you have to the president to get what he's thinking and relay it to us?
Yeah, I can tell you this. I'm around the president almost the entire day. I was just with him before I left to come out and speak with you guys. I think my staff can attest to the fact that they have a very hard time finding me because I'm normally with the present. And the Oval Office. So I'm consistently with him absorbing his thinking and it's my mission to bring you the mindset of the president deliver those facts. So this president gets fair and accurate reporting in the American people get fair and accurate information. Yeah.
Thanks, Kaylee. Just following up on Chris's question, China's blocking the World Health Organization from coming in and investigating how this started, shouldn't external investigators be allowed into move on to determine one of a pandemic started, and to maybe a way that we could expedite finding a cure for this thing?
Look, you know, there's no secret that China stopped us investigators from coming in. It was a paramount importance that we got into China in an expedited fashion and that didn't happen. With respect to the World Health Organization. They have some questions of their own to answer. The United States, as the President has emphasized provides about 400 million to 500 million per year to the wh o compared to China at roughly 40 million a year. But yet the who appears to have a very clear channel In a bias, I mean, you look at this timeline, and it's really damning for the who when you consider the fact that on December 31, you had Taiwanese officials warning about human to human transmission, who did not make that public on January 9, who repeated China's claim that the virus quote does not transmit readily between people that was quite apparently false. On January 14, who again repeated China's talking points about no human human transmission, or they praise China's leadership on the 22nd of January on the 23rd. They said this is incredible. The pandemic didn't represent a public health emergency of international concern and even on February 29, you had the wh o saying that when the Coronavirus was spreading around the world, they they chose to put put, excuse me political correctness first by opposing life saving travel restrictions, the travel restrictions this President put in place the travel restrictions that Dr. falchi praised as saving lives and you have the world Health Organization opposing a measure that saved American lives. That's unacceptable, especially at a time when the US was providing 400 to $500 million. JOHN
Kelly this time last week, the President was saying that he was not happy with Georgia's governor Brian Kemp for beginning the reopening process and the way that he was at the time that he was a week later, there have been some peaks and valleys in new cases in Georgia, but overall, the trend line is down. Do you know what the President's thinking about the Georgia reopening is as of today?
The President the President is resolute in saying that the states take the lead here. It's the the lead the decision of governors to decide what is best for their state. That being said, You know, I talked to the experts, I talked to Dr. Burks. I talked to Dr. falchi. And they say rightfully so this President has always sided on the side of data, which is why he encourages all states to follow the data driven guidelines to reopening all states from Georgia on down the line should follow those guidelines, but ultimately, it is the decision of the state And one note I would make about the president in times of national emergency. We seem to have had a trend in this country where presidents aggregate power at the federal level. But this President has devolved power. He's invested in a principle that I cherish I know many others do, which is federalism. And I think that was the right decision.
He how he feels about governor Kemp in the last few days.
I have not spoken to him about governor Kemp in the last few days as the present
on the lives of reopening as the president pushes forward to reopen the country.
Does that mean he'll be campaigning in those states where he would that will be reopening? So I would refer you to the Trump campaign on that question. Yeah.
Yeah. Thanks for being here. Kaley. Um, you mentioned Dr. Fauci minute ago. Are we going to have any more press briefings with Dr. Fauci and Dr. Burks in the health experts or is the White House kind of shifting the message to you know, focus more on the economy and less on the public health as
well? Let me back up and talk to you a little bit about how we approach disseminating information. You know, when I talk with my colleague, Alyssa And we plan out the communicate communication strategy for this White House long with the president and Ben as well. You know, what we do is we say what is the best mode for the public to receive this information at this time and we allow the news cycle and the needs of the American people to guide us and you know, at the moment what we see happening and I hinted at this in my gaggle last week is your 35 states and and probably more at this point, with plans to reopen the country Americans are looking to reopening the country. We've had Dr. Burks and several events this week. They've been Dr. Brooks and Fauci out on the airwaves. They're really incredible people and have done a great service for this country. But we allow the news of the day to guide us what the American people need to hear. And right now we're in a reopening phase, which is why you've seen the president this week with CEOs. You've seen him with small business owners with small business employees today with some great heroes that have emerged from this pandemic. And I've done a lot of the hard work. So every day we approach this as how can we disseminate this information? There's a need for information, which is why I'm here supplementing that the efforts of this president to get the message out I would also note, he's the most accessible president in history took questions twice yesterday, twice the day before you hear from him quite often as well, as well as our medical experts. Is the task force
still meeting? I guess, what's the role of the
task force? We still have, you know, hundreds of people a day are dying. So because what what role is the task force have versus the economic advisory?
Yeah. The taskforce meets regularly I go to those meetings. I hear them. We are Dr. Burks, I should say is meticulously reviewing the data and granular detail. I watched them spend sometimes the upwards of two hours in these Task Force briefing. So those are those are still ongoing. Rest assured, we want a safe reopening. So we are prioritizing the health of the American people as well as looking forward to reopening this country.
Yes, thank you. Okay, back to the DNI statement from yesterday. There is a quote that I'd like you to give me your response to it said the intelligence community also concurs with the wide scientific consensus that the COVID-19 risk was not men made or genetically modified. This was from the DNI statement, how do you see this? Stick? How do you understand this? And also there was a piece in The New York Times. That said senior Trump administration officials have pushed intelligence agencies to hunt for evidence to support the theory that COVID-19 was made in a war on the laboratory.
I can assure you that no one is pressing the intelligence community to come to a determination the intelligence community statement stands on it's in perfect concert with what the President said. So, you know, I encourage the media to convey the facts to the American people, which is that we are in line as an administration and we stand by the intelligence community and that is in complete concert with the with with what the President said yesterday.
people haven't gotten to
Oh, that's almost everyone. So we're in round two. That's great. Yes,
thank you today, former Vice President Joe Biden denied allegations of misconduct against him. Does President Trump take him at his word given that, as the President has said he has denied allegations against himself?
Well, what I would say is that we are pleased that the former vice president has decided to go on the record. It took him less than what 16 hours to follow the advice of the President of the United States and come out and publicly address those claims. So, you know, we're glad to see that he's on the record on
this ask you about something the President said moments ago in an interview he said that tower read his quote, far more compelling than anything they had with respect to Brett Kavanaugh. What did he mean by that? What is more compelling?
That's the President's assessment. So I would point you back to his words. I think it was a grave miscarriage of justice. What happened with justice Brett Kavanaugh? Well, I there's no need for me to bring up some of the salacious, awful and verifiably false allegations that were made against justice Cavanaugh all that was an embarrassment for the democrat party to have dragged the name of a very respectable man through the mud like that. So I'll leave it at that.
Kelly's radio for masking this on behalf of Kali. There's
word the decision to release Michael Cohen from prison to home confinement due to COVID-19 has been reversed. Did the White House directly or indirectly intervene here?
No. So absolutely not, I would say there, but I am glad that you brought up justice. And because look, there's, again, a case of injustice that is yet to be brought up today. But I certainly would like to bring it up. And that's the case of General Michael Flynn. What we've all learned from that should scare every American citizen. The fact that you had Jim Comey admitting in December of last year, that he violated a protocol by directing agents to confront Flynn, something that he would not, quote, have gotten away with under previous administrations. The FBI told Flynn, he didn't need a lawyer when they came to meet with him. McCabe told FBI agents that he didn't think Flynn was lying and then all of that information, we will earned over the last few months and years culminates in the fact that we have a handwritten FBI note that says, quote, we need to get Flynn to lie, quote and get him fired. That was there was an unfair unfair targets on the back of General Michael Flynn. It should concern every American anytime there's a partisan pursuit of an individual and that's certainly at least those questions are raised with regard to General Michael Flynn and honorable man who served his country.
Early on that when the President fired Michael Flynn, he said he was doing so because he had lied to the Vice President and he had lied to the FBI. So given all that you've just said it, isn't it? Isn't it still true? Doesn't the President still believe that Michael Flynn lied to Vice President Pence and lied to the FBI?
Well, first let me address that Vice President Pence is on the record about this. He said he's inclined to believe that Flynn did not intentionally mislead him and I guess I would turn the question on you and just ask as a trouble you that the FBI said, we got to get friend ally. Doesn't that trouble you as a journalist and not not only that as an American citizen?
Well, it's certainly something worth reporting. It's not my job to say whether or not it's troubling. But but but the bottom line is the President said point blank that Flynn lied to the FBI and to the vice president. And I'm just asking a very direct question. Does he still believe that Michael Flynn lied to the FBI and lied to the vice president?
And again, I'd point you to the Vice President's statement that he's inclined to believe that Flynn did not intentionally mislead him. And I'm asking back that all of you in your coverage endeavor to report what is a very scary story when the FBI is saying, Let us get someone to lie. I've seen very scant coverage of that. It's a story worth reporting and a story that I hope the American people if you haven't heard it yet, are getting to hear for the very first time
that you are still
going back to the
South China Sea. We had an issue come up this
morning. Where you had the USS bury crossing International Maritime waters and then China. This is in the South China Sea. And Chinese officials are saying that this will be a
dead end endeavor. Does Has the President spoken with any of the any side on the Chinese as far
as what the United States is going
to continue doing the US Navy going to just ignore these threats and keep keep going through these international waters? What are your responses to
China's increasing aggression in the South China Sea again, now? I have no news to report as to the President's conversations and for the specifics of that I would redirect you to the NSC.
Yeah. Thanks. I'm in the same podcast interview, the President said that Democrats would, quote have to give us a lot for aid to stay. It's I'm wondering if you have any idea of what specifically the White House or the president is asking for and secondly, what you'd say to somebody like Governor Cuomo that says Know the President's already told me, but you know, a few weeks ago that he would support this type of assistance? And why are we bailing out? You know, airlines or defense contractors, but not the states that play that pay teachers are first responders?
Well, first you brought up Governor Cuomo. So I just thought it's a good time to remind everyone that Governor Cuomo has praised the President's response on in this COVID-19 crisis, saying that what the President has achieved is a phenomenal accomplishment. And we thank Governor Cuomo for those very kind words. But on that note with regard to funding to states, phase four is something that we want to start negotiating good negotiating on immediately and get to work on the President has said, Look, I will certainly look to consider helping states who have Corona virus reasons for the financial situation they find themselves in but he doesn't want this to be an excuse for decades and decades of bad democratic governance that have run some of these states into a financial predicament. So he has mentioned that in terms of the title Some things he wants to see in this phase four, don't want to get ahead of the negotiations. But I do want to emphasize that he has mentioned sanctuary cities. This is a really important issue that has cost American lives on last year a brave ice officers arrested more than 120,000 criminal aliens charged with nearly 10,000 burglaries, 5000 assaults 45,000 violent assaults, 2000 murders, and in the last year egregiously 5000, human trafficking episodes so American lives matter our brave men and women matter, and it's something that he's mentioned he'd like to see in a face for
you raise that. And the President's been kind of vague about this. Are you explicitly conditioning state aid on states or cities not saying that they wouldn't have sanctuary city policies?
No, I'm not No, not conditioning anything but saying that is a negotiation item that the that the President will certainly bring up. Thanks very much.
And this is the President
has in the past deny any of the
allegations from the many women who have accused Tim of misconduct. But for that that podcast today you seem to suggest the allegations that Tara Reid has raised are are more What do you say credible than the ones against Brett Kavanaugh? What about the allegations that were raised against him? However, why should the public or what makes them them any less credible than the allegations from terrorism?
The President has swiftly denied all of these allegations that were raised four years ago. He has always told the truth on these issues. He's denied them immediately. And you're bringing up issues like I said from four years ago that were asked and answered and the American people had their say in the matter when they elected President Trump as president of the United States, but you know, the media leave it to the media to really take an issue about the former Vice President and turn it on the president and bring up accusations from four years ago that were asked and answered in the form of the vote of the American people.
Just come back to John's question, because Kellyanne Conway spoke to this the other day and suggested that two things could be true at the same time. We now have vice presidents Say it's his belief that General Flynn may have unintentionally misled him. That's now three years after the fact. But the two things that could have been true at the same time were that Flynn lied to the Vice President and also lied to the FBI. If you remove the FBI piece of that, would the President Steele had fired Michael Flynn for his belief that he lied at that point to the vice president?
I mean, I'm not going to engage in a hypothetical and that's essentially what that would be. But what I would say is echo yet again, that this was a grave miscarriage of justice. I am very glad that the FBI thought to keep a paper trail because what many have said for a very long time pointing to the first few facts I shared with you culminating in that handwritten note, I'm glad they kept such good documentation of their intent to slow walk General Flynn into a trap and to essentially create, as I mentioned, a grave miscarriage of justice. So, FBI, at least we can thank you for the great note taking.
follow up on that though. JOHN does bring up the point that James Flynn pleaded guilty
to lying to the FBI.
I'm not going to get involved in what was a matter of justice.
Do you not consider it a miscarriage of justice? When you have the FBI? Writing? We want to get someone to lie. Is that a miscarriage of justice?
But in the end, he pleaded guilty? And that's you
hesitated because you know what the answer is? The answer's yes. And I would encourage the media to cover it. Because I've watched a lot of your networks. I've read a lot of your papers. I've seen a whole lot of scant information about Michael Flynn, when there was a whole lot of speculation about Russia, Russia, Russia, culminating in $40 million of taxpayer money being lost and the complete and total exoneration of President Trump. Thank you guys so much. I'm gonna cut this short now and go see my little five month old here in a few hours and let me just say this, the President at 5pm leaves today for Camp David. It's going to be Working weekend I'll be talking with heads of states with elected officials. We have a great event coming up this afternoon and of course, everyone should watch the Fox News townhall with the president from seven to 9pm. It'll be a can't miss television and much like the highly rated President Trump Coronavirus Task Force briefings have been Thank you.