Inside the White House’s plan to deploy ‘knife fighters’ to defend nominee

EXCLUSIVE: The White House is mounting an “offensive” communications strategy ahead of Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s upcoming Senate confirmation fight, with aides describing an aggressive plan for “knife fighters” to “fiercely” defend the nominee ahead of what’s expected to be a heated battle on Capitol Hill.



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Fox News has learned the White House has formed a team to handle what’s to come in the weeks ahead as Senate Republicans aim to get President Trump’s nominee confirmed to the high court before Election Day.



a group of people standing in front of United States Supreme Court Building: Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel weighs in on Democrats' plan to delay the Supreme Court confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett.


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Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel weighs in on Democrats’ plan to delay the Supreme Court confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett.

AMY CONEY BARRETT ACCEPTS PRESIDENT TRUMP’S NOMINATION TO THE SUPREME COURT, PLEDGES TO ‘FAITHFULLY AND IMPARTIALLY’ DISCHARGE DUTIES 

Senior White House officials told Fox News that the team is broken into two parts: one focused on communications and the other focused on guiding Barrett through the process on Capitol Hill.

Senior officials argued the team is “uniquely equipped” for the mission: The White House communications team will consist of White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, who is a graduate of Harvard Law School and will take on the role of “lead spokesperson.” Deputy Press Secretary Brian Morgenstern, a graduate of Columbia Law School, and White House communications officials Alyssa Farah and Ben Williamson, who are veterans of Capitol Hill and who have unique relationships with Republican leadership in both chambers of Congress, are also on the team.

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The communications team will also include White House staff who will be dedicated to a rapid response effort and research.

“We will need to be knife fighters with the opposition, and will be prepared to marshal information quickly, and disseminate it to push back on any false narratives or attacks on her and her family, because we anticipate, unfortunately, that Democrats will go there,” a senior official told Fox News.

“So we’re mounting an offensive strategy on her behalf because she is such an incredible and inspiring nominee,” the official continued. “We’ll be defending her fiercely every day.”

Another official told Fox News that the communications team intends to be “very well-synced” with Senate communicators, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office, the Senate Republican conference and the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“We will work closely with them,” the official said.

As for the Hill process, White House Counsel Pat Cippollone and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows will play “integral roles.”

Senior officials told Fox News that Meadows will be tasked with prepping Barrett and shepherding her through the Senate.

“He knows exactly the senators we’ll need to win over, and the issues that matter to them,” one senior White House official told Fox News. “He knows which senators to target that could bring over votes for her, and will help her to remain independent and speak to her own judicial record to win

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Amy Coney Barrett confirmation: Inside the White House’s plan to deploy ‘knife fighters’ to defend nominee

EXCLUSIVE: The White House is mounting an “offensive” communications strategy ahead of Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s upcoming Senate confirmation fight, with aides describing an aggressive plan for “knife fighters” to “fiercely” defend the nominee ahead of what’s expected to be a heated battle on Capitol Hill.

Fox News has learned the White House has formed a team to handle what’s to come in the weeks ahead as Senate Republicans aim to get President Trump’s nominee confirmed to the high court before Election Day.

AMY CONEY BARRETT ACCEPTS PRESIDENT TRUMP’S NOMINATION TO THE SUPREME COURT, PLEDGES TO ‘FAITHFULLY AND IMPARTIALLY’ DISCHARGE DUTIES 

Senior White House officials told Fox News that the team is broken into two parts: one focused on communications and the other focused on guiding Barrett through the process on Capitol Hill.

Senior officials argued the team is “uniquely equipped” for the mission: The White House communications team will consist of White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, who is a graduate of Harvard Law School and will take on the role of “lead spokesperson.” Deputy Press Secretary Brian Morgenstern, a graduate of Columbia Law School, and White House communications officials Alyssa Farah and Ben Williamson, who are veterans of Capitol Hill and who have unique relationships with Republican leadership in both chambers of Congress, are also on the team.

The communications team will also include White House staff who will be dedicated to a rapid response effort and research.

“We will need to be knife fighters with the opposition, and will be prepared to marshal information quickly, and disseminate it to push back on any false narratives or attacks on her and her family, because we anticipate, unfortunately, that Democrats will go there,” a senior official told Fox News.

“So we’re mounting an offensive strategy on her behalf because she is such an incredible and inspiring nominee,” the official continued. “We’ll be defending her fiercely every day.”

Another official told Fox News that the communications team intends to be “very well-synced” with Senate communicators, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office, the Senate Republican conference and the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“We will work closely with them,” the official said.

As for the Hill process, White House Counsel Pat Cippollone and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows will play “integral roles.”

Senior officials told Fox News that Meadows will be tasked with prepping Barrett and shepherding her through the Senate.

“He knows exactly the senators we’ll need to win over, and the issues that matter to them,” one senior White House official told Fox News. “He knows which senators to target that could bring over votes for her, and will help her to remain independent and speak to her own judicial record to win those key votes. He’s a Capitol Hill strategist.”

As for Cippollone, an official told Fox News that he “knows what she’ll be questioned on.”

“He’ll know ways to navigate those without telegraphing too much to get through the confirmation,” another official told Fox

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