During an exchange with a reporter during a press conference this Friday, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany struggled to defend President Trump’s recent comments where he claimed that he could “override” state governors who refuse to allow places of worship to reopen amid the coronavirus health crisis.
McEnany was asked to reconcile Trump’s comments with those of coronavirus task force member Dr. Birx, who advised against allowing churches to reopen immediately.
“So which is it, and why the mixed messaging?” Kristen Welker of MSNBC asked.
McEnany said that places of worship have a “pretty clear path” to reopen thanks to guidelines that Dr. Birx helped create.
Welker then asked “under what authority” can Trump override governors. McEnany tried to dodge the question by saying Welker was “posing a hypothetical,” but Welker pointed out that she was quoting the President directly.
“I think we can all hope that this Sunday, people are allowed to pray to their gods across this country,” McEnany said, continuing to dodge the question. “That’s a good thing.”
McEnany later implied the reporters in the room were anti-religious, claiming they “desperately” wanted places of worship to stay closed.
“I object to that,” Reuters reporter Jeff Mason shot back.
Watch the full exchange below: