Fox News reporter slams White House for deflecting on white supremacy

  • Fox News reporter John Roberts lost his temper on air on Thursday as he discussed the White House’s efforts to dance around questions on President Donald Trump’s stance on white supremacy.
  • “Stop deflecting. Stop blaming the media. I’m tired of it,” Roberts, Fox News’ chief White House correspondent, said in an impassioned reaction to Thursday’s press briefing.
  • During the presidential debate on Tuesday, Trump declined to explicitly condemn white-supremacist groups.
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Fox News reporter John Roberts on Thursday became visibly frustrated with the White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany’s responses to questions on why President Donald Trump had not condemned white supremacist groups.

“Stop deflecting. Stop blaming the media. I’m tired of it,” Roberts, Fox News’ chief White House correspondent, said in an impassioned reaction to Thursday’s press briefing.

“The press secretary would not, in a definitive and unambiguous and non-deflecting way, say that the president condemns white supremacism in all its forms and any group that espouses it,” Roberts told the Fox host Melissa Francis.

He mentioned that several prominent Republicans in Congress had urged Trump to “correct” his recent statements on the matter.

“For all of you on Twitter who are hammering me for asking that question, I don’t care!” Roberts said. “Because it’s a question that needs to be asked, and clearly the president’s Republican colleagues a mile away from here are looking for an answer for it too.”

During the briefing, Roberts asked McEnany for a declarative statement on whether the president denounced white supremacism and groups that espouse it.

McEnany falsely said Trump had “condemned white supremacy more than any other president in modern history.” White-supremacist and other far-right groups have frequently celebrated Trump’s rhetoric and policy positions, and white nationalists have endorsed him in the past.

The White House press secretary went on to misleadingly say that Trump’s “record on this is unmistakable,” adding that it was “shameful that the media refuses to cover it.”

Later, McEnany went after Roberts on Twitter and noted that his wife, the reporter Kyra Phillips, said in a tweet on Wednesday that Trump “tells me he DENOUNCES white supremacists.”

But Roberts’ questions on Thursday were linked to Trump’s well-documented history of decrying white supremacy only feebly after public pressure. The president has repeatedly failed to forcefully condemn white-supremacist groups and their ideology.

Trump has on many occasions made comments that directly align with the worldviews of white supremacists; he told a rally of nearly all white supporters in Minnesota last month that they had “good genes” as he referenced the “racehorse theory.”

It’s true that the president has disavowed white-supremacist groups in some instances. But this has generally occurred after he received an endorsement from such groups or people associated with them — including the Ku Klux Klan — or after he ignited backlash for making racist or xenophobic statements.

In one of the most infamous moments of his presidency,

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The White House press secretary declines to explicitly denounce white supremacy, saying the president has already done so.

Kayleigh McEnany, the White House press secretary, repeatedly refused to denounce white supremacy on Thursday, insisting that President Trump had already done so and angrily accusing the media of refusing to accept his answer.

In a series of remarkably heated exchanges with reporters, even by the standards of the Trump White House, Ms. McEnany said that Mr. Trump has “always denounced any form of that” and read from past quotes from the president in which he condemned bigotry and racism, including “the K.K.K., neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups.”

But she would not explicitly condemn white supremacy from the briefing room lectern or specifically denounce the Proud Boys, a far-right group that Mr. Trump said should “stand back and stand by” during Tuesday’s presidential debate with Joseph R. Biden Jr.

When Ms. McEnany was asked why the Proud Boys, an extremist organization that embraces violence and hate against minorities, was celebrating Mr. Trump’s debate comments, she once again declined to denounce the group and noted that the president on Wednesday had clarified that the group should “stand back” and let law enforcement do their jobs.

Under repeated questioning by reporters from CBS, Fox News, CNN and other organizations, Ms. McEnany lashed out, blaming journalism organizations for publicizing the Proud Boys in their stories. She told a CNN reporter that “truth is of no moment” to the cable network and complained when a CBS News reporter interrupted her.

“It’s quite funny that the media goes haywire about interrupting and debates and then chooses to pursue that very same tactic themselves,” Ms. McEnany said. “This is a White House briefing: You ask a question and you give me time to answer.”

The president has — as Ms. McEnany said — at times denounced the K.K.K. and other hate groups. But he has often done so under pressure, and only as part of a broad condemnation against violence in which he quickly attacks left-wing groups as the bigger threat to the country.

In the debate, Mr. Biden said that antifa, a left-wing movement that has perpetrated violence, was “an idea,” different from specific right-wing hate groups, citing recent testimony by Christopher A. Wray, the director of the F.B.I., who described antifa as an “ideology or movement” rather than an organization.

Ms. McEnany mocked Mr. Biden’s answer on Thursday.

“Ideas do not target police officers. Ideas do not burn down buildings. Ideas do not kill innocent Americans. Organizations do,” she said. “And Democrats should condemn that shameful group in the same manner President Trump continues to condemn white supremacy.”

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Pressure mounts on Trump to clearly condemn white supremacy. The White House insists he already has

Trump has yet to offer that kind of condemnation since GOP senators weighed in after Tuesday’s presidential debate.

And while the White House insisted that he has been repeatedly clear on the subject both before and after, he did not stop to take the opportunity to speak with reporters as he departed the White House Thursday, as he typically does, including as recently as Wednesday.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, asked several times Thursday whether the president unambiguously denounces white supremacists, repeatedly avoided offering a simple declarative repudiation.

Pressed by Fox News’ John Roberts in the first exchange of Thursday’s White House briefing if she could “right now” denounce white supremacy on behalf of the president, McEnany instead argued the president has been “entirely consistent” and that his “record is unmistakable,” arguing he had done so when asked at the debate.

“If I could start off,” Roberts said, “I would like to ask you for a definitive and declarative statement without ambiguity or deflection. As the person who speaks for the president, does the president denounce white supremacism and groups that espouse it, in all their forms?”

“This was answered by the president himself. He said ‘sure’ three times,” Mcenany replied. “Yesterday, he was point blank asked, ‘Do you denounce white supremacy?’ and he said ‘I’ve always denounced any form of that,'” she said, reading from a transcript, reciting an exchange in which Trump did not use the term “white supremacy” himself.

There’s a well-established pattern of Trump showing a reluctance to disavow radical and racist groups and ideologies dating back to before he took office.

Asked again by Roberts if she would offer a simple declarative condemnation on behalf of the president to clear up lingering confusion left by his comments, McEnany claimed she had already done so.

“I just did. The president has denounced it repeatedly. The president was asked this. You are contriving a story line and narrative.”

After Roberts, other reporters continued to press for an unambiguous condemnation — McEnany stood by her position.

One reporter challenged McEnany, saying the president had a mixed record on the issue.

“His record is not mixed in the slightest. When you go back in history you can

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White House spokeswoman says Trump ‘did not misspeak’ at debate and denounced white supremacy

White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany repeatedly refused Thursday to denounce white supremacists and insisted that President Donald Trump had spoken against racism at the chaotic presidential debate Tuesday.

After ticking off a list of times that Trump denounced white supremacy, McEnany said Trump responded appropriately at the debate when he said the Proud Boys should “stand by” amid racial justice protests nationwide.

“No, he did not misspeak,” McEnany said.

In a fiery press briefing, McEnany repeatedly derided journalists for supposedly spreading #FakeNews about Trump and accused them of a double standard for interrupting her when she dodged questions.

“The media goes haywire about interruptions at the debate but does the very same thing at this briefing,” said McEnany, referring to widespread public criticism of Trump’s repeatedly interrupting debate rival Joe Biden and moderator Chris Wallace.

John Roberts of the usually Trump-friendly Fox News launched an extraordinary angry on-air defense of the questioning.

“It’s a question that needs to be asked, and clearly (Republicans) are looking for an answer for it too,” Roberts, the typically stoic White House correspondent, told a Fox anchor in a live segment. “So stop deflecting. Stop blaming the media. I’m tired of it.”

McEnany also firmly defended Trump’s plans to stage mass rallies in coronavirus hot spots in battleground Wisconsin, despite pleas from public health experts to avoid gatherings in places where the virus is spreading virtually unchecked.

“There are two standards: one for Trump supporters and one for everyone else,” McEnany said, shrugging off concerns about the spread of COVID-19. “Somehow political speech is not vital if you are a Trump supporter.”

The president plans to hold rallies in Green Bay and La Crosse over the weekend. Both metro areas are grappling with deadly coronavirus outbreaks with Green Bay ranked No. 3 and La Crosse at No. 11 in the list of most cases in the entire nation during the past week.

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Fox News Reporter Tells White House, Twitter to ‘Stop Blaming the Media’ for Again Asking if Trump Will Condemn White Supremacy

Fox News White House correspondent John Roberts sent a clear message to the White House and Twitter users on Thursday to “stop blaming the media” for asking again if President Donald Trump will publicly condemn white supremacy.



a man wearing a suit and tie: Screenshot of Fox News White House correspondent John Roberts on the network on October 1, 2020. "Stop deflecting. Stop blaming the media," he said. "I'm tired of it." Roberts pushed White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany to declare that President Donald Trump denounces white supremacy at a press briefing earlier in the day.


© Fox News
Screenshot of Fox News White House correspondent John Roberts on the network on October 1, 2020. “Stop deflecting. Stop blaming the media,” he said. “I’m tired of it.” Roberts pushed White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany to declare that President Donald Trump denounces white supremacy at a press briefing earlier in the day.

Earlier in the day, Roberts asked White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany if Trump denounces such groups.

“I would like to ask you for a definitive and declarative statement without ambiguity or deflection. As the person who speaks for the president, does the president denounce white supremacy and groups that espouse it in all their forms?” he asked during a press briefing.

McEnany replied, “This has been answered. Yesterday by the president himself. The day before by the president himself on the debate stage. The president was asked this. He said, ‘sure’ three times. Yesterday, he was asked point blank, ‘Do you denounce white supremacy,’ and he said ‘I have always denounced any form of that.'”

While McEnany read previous quotes that she said indicated that Trump “has condemned white supremacy more than any other president in modern history,” Roberts pushed for her to make an explicit, clear statement that Trump denounces these individuals. McEnany argued she “just did.”

“For all of you on Twitter, who are hammering me for asking that question, I don’t care because it’s a question that needs to be asked and clearly, the president’s Republican colleagues a mile away from here are looking for an answer for it too,” Roberts said on Fox News. “Stop deflecting. Stop blaming the media. I’m tired of it.”

Trump Struggles To Condemn White Supremacy During 2020 First Presidential Debate

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Trump’s response during Tuesday’s presidential debate has stirred confusion and controversy after the president was asked to condemn white supremacy on the national stage.

“Proud Boys—stand back and stand by. But I’ll tell you what, somebody’s got to do something about antifa and the left,” Trump replied.

His decision to not explicitly answer moderator Chris Wallace’s question has come under fire by a number of prominent Republicans.

Some GOP senators, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senator Lindsey Graham, have commented on the president’s remarks, calling on Trump to correct his statement while stating they personally denounce white supremacy.

When given the opportunity to do so, Trump said he did not know who the Proud Boys are.

“I don’t know who the Proud Boys are. You’ll have to give me a definition because I really don’t know who they are. I can only say they have to stand down and let law enforcement do their work,” he told reporters at the White House on Wednesday.

Roberts said the Trump’s additional

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White House shows no signs of backing down from Trump’s refusal to condemn White supremacy

The White House is showing no signs of backing down from President Donald Trump’s refusal to condemn White supremacy during Tuesday night’s presidential debate, despite pleas from some Republican allies to clarify his comments.



Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie


© Carolyn Kaster/AP


White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Thursday would not give a declarative statement denouncing White supremacy, instead pointing to the President’s past comments and insisting that he did not misspeak during the debate or after.

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“The President, specifically, verbatim, was asked (Wednesday): ‘White supremacy — do you denounce them?’ To which he responded, ‘I have always denounced any form of that,’ ” McEnany said. “Those are the facts.”

But McEnany excluded the fact that when Trump was asked if he condemned White supremacists on Wednesday, he appeared to equate violence by far-left groups with White supremacy.

Asked if he condemned White supremacists, Trump told reporters: “I’ve always denounced any form, any form of any of that. You have to denounce. But I also — Joe Biden has to say something about antifa.”

Trump similarly argued during the debate that the left wing was to blame for violence at ongoing demonstrations across the country.

The President also told the Proud Boys — a far-right group the Anti-Defamation League calls misogynistic, Islamophobic, transphobic and anti-immigration — to “stand back and stand by.”

“Who would you like me to condemn?” Trump said. Biden could be heard twice saying, “Proud Boys.”

Video: White House still won’t outright denounce white supremacy (CNN)

White House still won’t outright denounce white supremacy

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“Proud Boys — stand back and stand by. But I’ll tell you what. I’ll tell you what. Somebody’s got to do something about Antifa and the left because this is not a right-wing problem,” Trump continued.

Although Trump has condemned the Ku Klux Klan and White supremacists in the past, he memorably said “both sides” were to blame for racial violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, has frequently downplayed the threat from White supremacists during his term in office and has made stoking racial tensions a key part of his reelection strategy. In contrast, the Trump administration has portrayed antifa and anarchists as a top threat to the US equivalent to that of the KKK, recently making a campaign promise to prosecute both the KKK and antifa as terrorist organizations.

FBI Director Christopher Wray recently told Congress that “racially motivated violent extremism,” coming mostly from White supremacists, has made up the majority of domestic terrorist threats in the US.

Some Republicans on Capitol Hill, including Sens. Mike Rounds of South Dakota and Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, gave Trump the benefit of the doubt, saying the President should clarify his debate remarks or that they believed he misspoke.

Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, the lone Black Republican in the Senate, said Wednesday that he thought Trump had misspoken during the debate and “he should correct it.”

Asked directly if Trump misspoke, McEnany denied he had.

“When the President denounced White supremacy

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Fox News’ John Roberts angrily tells off the White House for its refusal to denounce white supremacy

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Trump’s Jab on Hunter Biden’s Drug Addiction Horrifies Treatment Advocates

Even by the historically low standards of decorum and decency set by President Donald Trump’s pugilistic performance in his first presidential debate with former Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday, the president’s attack on his opponent’s son for his past struggles with substance use was singular in its ugliness.“Are you talking about Hunter?” Trump said late into the debate, interrupting Biden as he reflected on his late son, Beau Biden, who died of brain cancer in 2015. “Hunter got thrown out of the military. He was thrown out, dishonorably discharged for cocaine use—he didn’t have a job until you became vice president, and once you became vice president, he made a fortune.”Trump’s callous and incorrect comments—Hunter Biden was not dishonorably discharged— about his opponent’s lone surviving son’s past drug use were clearly wielded to leave a mark, but Biden responded with defiance.“My son, like a lot of people, like a lot of people we know at home, had a drug problem,” Biden said. “He’s overtaken it. He’s fixed it, he’s worked on it, and I’m proud of him. I’m proud of my son.”The moment horrified advocates for addiction treatment and recovery who told The Daily Beast that they fear Trump’s comments, and comments like them, could make it harder for the millions of Americans affected by substance use to get help.“Addiction is a medical condition that affects millions of Americans each year, irrespective of any demographic. It is a disease, not a moral or character failing,” Marvin Ventrell, CEO of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers, told The Daily Beast. “It is inappropriate, harmful, hurtful, and irresponsible when a public figure or person of influence disparages people suffering from addiction.”“Pointing out a father because his son may have struggled in the past with a substance use disorder is wholly unconstructive and serves to perpetuate misconceived perceptions of addiction,” said Dr. Paul H. Earley, president of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM). “Our nation must respond with compassion and evidence-based treatments if we want to treat addiction and save lives.”Trump’s comments, which characterized substance use as a character failure, also undercut the hard-fought understanding in the medical community that addiction is a disease, said Dr. Lawrence Weinstein, chief medical director of American Addiction Centers, which provides treatment for substance use disorders.Trump Planned to Go Feral on Biden. Now His Allies Want to Call Animal Control“The stigma surrounding mental health and addiction has been shown to be a significant barrier to treatment and prevents many people from seeking the help that they need,” said Weinstein, who called addiction “an indiscriminate, chronic, complex and relapsing brain disease.”“This disease is not the result of a moral failing, poor judgment, or weakness—it is a chronic condition that requires lifelong maintenance,” Weinstein said.Trump has a track record of making flippant comments about substance use and addiction, despite the death of his elder brother to complications related to alcoholism. In recent years

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White House Says Trump Has ‘Always Denounced White Supremacy’

“I’d like to ask you for a definitive and declarative statement, without ambiguity or deflection, as the person who speaks for the president: Does the president denounce white supremacism and groups that espouse it, in all their forms?” “This has been answered yesterday by the president himself, the day before by the president himself. On the debate stage, the president was asked this. He said, ‘sure,’ three times — yesterday, he was point blank blank asked, ‘Do you denounce white supremacy?’ And he said, ‘I’ve always denounced any form of that.’ I can go back and read for you in August 2019: ‘In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy.’ In August of 2017: ‘Racism is evil, and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the K.K.K., neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups. I have an entire list of these quotes that I can go through with you. He has condemned white supremacy more than any president in modern history.” Reporter: “Kayleigh, can you, right now, denounce white supremacy and the groups that espouse it?” “I just did, the president —” Reporter: “You read a bunch of quotes from the past —” “— has renounced white supremacy, the K.K.K. and hate groups in all forms. He signed a resolution to that effect. The president just last week, perhaps you all weren’t covering it, but just last week expressed his desire to see the K.K.K. prosecuted as domestic terrorists. This president had advocated for the death penalty for a white supremacist, the first federal execution in 17 years. His record on this is unmistakable, and it’s shameful that the media refuses to cover it.”

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Trump denies knowing who ‘Proud Boys’ are, again declines to condemn white supremacy by name

Leaving the White House for campaign appearances in Minnesota, Trump told reporters he doesn’t know who the “Proud Boys” are — despite having told the far-right group, which reportedly has described itself as “western chauvinist” but not white supremacist, to “stand back and stand by” at the debate.

“I don’t know who the Proud Boys are. I mean, you’ll you have to give me a definition because I really don’t know who they are. I can only say they have to stand down, let law enforcement do their work,” Trump said of the group which has staged counter protests in cities like Portland that have experienced recent violence.

PHOTO: President Donald Trump speaks to reporters on his way to Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Sept. 30, 2020.

President Donald Trump speaks to reporters on his way to Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Sept. 30, 2020.

President Donald Trump speaks to reporters on his way to Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Sept. 30, 2020.

Asked directly on Wednesday if he would denounce white supremacy, Trump claimed he has always denounced it — but once again didn’t use the words “white supremacy.”

“I’ve always denounced — any form, any form, any form of any of that — you have to denounce,” Trump said.

A White House spokesperson had said earlier in the day there was nothing for the president to “clarify.”

At Tuesday’s debate, asked by moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News whether he was “willing to condemn white supremacists and militia groups and to say that they need to stand down and not add to the violence,” the president at first said, “Sure, I’m willing to do that.”

When Wallace pressed him, the president asked, “What do you want to call them?”

“White supremacists and right-wing militias,” Wallace said, as former Vice President Joe Biden interjected the name “Proud Boys.”

“Proud Boys, stand back and stand by,” Trump then replied. “But I’ll tell you what, somebody has got to do something about antifa and the left because this is not a right-wing problem. This is a left-wing problem.”

The group reportedly has previously denied links to white supremacy or violence.

The Proud Boys describe themselves as “a pro-Western fraternal organization for men,” according to the New York Times, and have denied they are part of the “alt-right” — but members have recently been connected to white supremacist groups.

The primary organizer of the Unite The Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia — where one counter-protester was

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