Like many things about the Donald Trump presidency, the way the White House press secretary has handled the media is unprecedented over the last four years. Especially when it comes to the most recent person in that position, Kayleigh McEnany.
McEaney ended a press conference early on Friday and with a fairly dismissive comment about “good and substantive questions,” but saved special ire for CNN White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins.
WH Press Sec. McEnany ends the briefing after only a few questions, telling reporters “I don’t call on activists.”
CNN’s @kaitlancollins responds: “I’m not an activist and you haven’t taken questions since October 1st … That’s not doing your job. Your taxpayer-funded job.” pic.twitter.com/QkgE6d1Rzl
— The Recount (@therecount) November 20, 2020
“I don’t call on activists,” she said after Collins attempted to ask a question.
It’s unclear what activism the press secretary is talking about, as it seems the only thing Collins truly advocates for outside of her work is her love of the Alabama Crimson Tide on Saturdays, but the remark got her attention and she fired back at McEnany as she walked away.
“I’m not an activist and you haven’t taken questions since October 1,” Collins said. “That’s not doing your job. Your taxpayer-funded job.”
Collins later appeared on CNN to discuss the meeting Trump had with Republican Michigan lawmakers in an apparent attempt to overturn election results that showed Joe Biden winning the state in the presidential election. But the segment was ended by Tapper complimenting Collins for her work and defending her as one of the best correspondents the network has ever had.
“I just wanted to note that you’re one of the best White House correspondents ever, in the history of this country,” Tapper said. “You do a fantastic job, and we’re very lucky to have you. We are all 100 percent behind you. So thanks for the report, and thank you for all you do.
Collins later tweeted video of the segment as well, sharing her appreciation for Tapper’s words and his support throughout her career.
.@jaketapper has been a mentor to me since I started at CNN and I’m grateful to be on his show every day, but especially today. https://t.co/xXOJ1e5OZR
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) November 20, 2020
Collins may have been “attacked from the podium” on Friday, but she got high praise on CNN as a result.