Former President Donald Trump sparked controversy and received backlash from conservatives and former campaign staffers after he launched an attack on his former White House press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany. The incident unfolded when McEnany mentioned Republican primary poll numbers during an appearance on Fox News, which Trump disputed as false. Taking to his newly established social media platform, Truth Social, Trump misspelled the term “milquetoast” and referred to McEnany as “Kayleigh ‘Milktoast’ McEnany.”
Trump asserted that he was 34 points ahead of Ron DeSantis, rather than the 25 points that McEnany had mentioned. He accused her of knowing that the numbers had been corrected by the polling group but still chose to cite the earlier figure. In his post, Trump expressed his frustration with what he deemed to be RINOs (Republicans In Name Only) and Globalists, suggesting that they could have McEnany, while Fox News should feature “REAL Stars!!!”
The attack on McEnany, who now co-hosts Fox News’s Outnumbered, drew criticism from many conservatives, including former staffers from Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign. Brian Kilmeade, a host of Fox & Friends, a program Trump favored, described Trump’s attack as “insane.” Other conservative figures rallied to McEnany’s defense, expressing their dismay and disappointment with Trump’s actions.
Blaze TV host Chad Prather characterized Trump’s behavior as “pathetic” and “unacceptable,” emphasizing McEnany’s loyalty and commitment during her tenure as press secretary. Matt Wolking, who served as Trump’s deputy director of communications in 2020, called Trump’s post a disgrace, highlighting McEnany’s unwavering support and effectiveness in defending Trump. Even former Trump legal adviser Jenna Ellis voiced her disappointment, hinting that his behavior was a reason why she and others did not return for the 2024 campaign.
The DeSantis team would say, you know, ‘We just had polling come out that shows we closed the gap by 9 points since we announced in Iowa.’ Still, Trump’s hugely ahead, but they say they’re closing the gap. That’s their argument… If you look at the polling now, it was Trump 34 in Iowa, it’s now Trump 25.
Trump’s attack on McEnany is part of a pattern where he has lashed out at former allies and media personalities in recent months. Laura Ingraham, a Fox News host, News Corp executive chairman Rupert Murdoch, and former White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney have also been targets of Trump’s ire as he navigates the political landscape to secure the Republican nomination for the 2024 presidential election.
Imagine being so immature as to attack your former press secretary, who was nothing if not loyal, for allegedly misquoting a poll number. pic.twitter.com/7zEiAUnGyx
— Brit Hume (@brithume) May 31, 2023