Donald Trump appears to have turned on Kayleigh McEnany, once his biggest fan and a former top Trump White House Adviser:
The former president ripped his own former White House press secretary after she shared unfavorable (but accurate) poll numbers in a Fox News appearance
What Did Donald Trump Do This Time?
Going back to the early days of Donald Trump’s political career, Kayleigh McEnany was one of his staunchest supporters.
First as a CNN commentator, and later as a spokesperson for the Republican National Committee, McEnany was a frequent defender of Trump.
In the spring of 2020, she was named his final White House press secretary while working for Trump’s 2020 campaign.
Following the Trump Administration, McEnany joined Fox News.
And now, it appears, Trump has turned on the woman who was once one of his biggest supporters.
It started when McEnany, in a Fox News appearance, stated one number as Trump’s current primary lead over Gov. Ron DeSantis, as opposed to the number Trump prefers. But it turns out McEnany was quoting one pollster’s May numbers, and Trump was citing those from the month before.
“Kayleigh ‘Milktoast’McEnany just gave out the wrong poll numbers on FoxNews. I am 34 points up on DeSanctimonious, not 25 up. While 25 is great, it’s not 34,” Trump said in a Truth Social post on Tuesday. “She knew the number was corrected upwards by the group that did the poll. The RINOS & Globalists can have her. FoxNews should only use REAL Stars!!!”
The difference simply seems to be that there are multiple polls of the Republican primary contest, and polls change over time. In this case, as pointed out by Mediaite, McEnany had said on Fox News that Trump was leading by 34 points in Iowa specifically, a lead that has dropped to 25 points.
That, at least, is according to polls by McLaughlin @ Associates, a Trump-associated polling firm. Trump’s Iowa lead was 34 points in late April and has dropped to 25 in the May 23-25 period. Trump’s argument seems to be that the April number from his own pollster is accurate while the May one is not and that it’s wrong for McEnany to state otherwise.
There was also mockery for Trump’s misspelling of “milquetoast.”
A Long Coming ‘Break Up’?
There had been hints previously of a break between the former president and his ex-press secretary.
Last November, McEnany had urged Trump to “suspend” his announcement that he was running for president in 2024, mainly so that energy could be focused on the Senate runoff in Georgia that was still to come.
And Insider reported on testimony by former aide Sarah Matthews, who had told the January 6 Committee that McEnany had “avoided” Trump after the election in 2020 because the then-president had wanted her to share bogus conspiracy theories about Dominion Voting Systems from the White House podium.
McEnany did, however, continue to appear on television while defending Trump’s election lies- and at one point, Fox News cut away from an interview with McEnany when she accused Democrats of “fraud” and “illegal voting.” That wasn’t enough, however, to prevent that same network from hiring McEnany to work for them only weeks later.
In the national race, at least, Trump maintains a large lead over DeSantis. According to the Morning Consult tracking poll, released on Wednesday, Trump leads with 56 percent support, ahead of DeSantis with 22 percent. Mike Pence is third with 5 percent, while Nikki Haley and Vivek Ramaswamy have 4 percent each, and Tim Scott has 3 percent.
However, Trump’s support is off slightly from a few weeks ago.
“Trump leads DeSantis, 56% to 22%, following the Florida governor’s May 24 announcement. The 34-percentage point advantage marks a 10-point decline in the former president’s lead since mid-May, but much of that dip came before DeSantis officially began his bid,” the Morning Consult report said.
The report also said that while Biden and Trump are statistically tied in a hypothetical general election matchup, Biden leads DeSantis, 43 to 40.
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Expertise and Experience
Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.