White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany claimed on Friday that President Donald Trump was never afforded an orderly transition of power following his victory in the 2016 election.
But the claim, which comes amid Trump’s refusal to concede after losing the 2020 election to President-elect Joe Biden, doesn’t even reflect the president’s own account.
A video making the rounds on Twitter, which has garnered well over 4 million views, shows McEnany making the allegation before footage of the 2016 inauguration shows Trump stating otherwise.
“It’s worth remembering that this president was never given an orderly transition of power,” McEnany said. “His presidency was never accepted.”
As it turns out, Trump thanked former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama “for their gracious aid throughout this transition” during his inauguration speech.
“They have been magnificent,” Trump said at the time.
A longer version of the video from NowThis even details many of the steps taken by the Obama administration in order to ensure that the reins of power were handed over effectively as well.
In fact, the only issues that sprang up during the transfer of power appear to have been caused by Trump himself.
A 2018 article from the Guardian states that Steve Bannon, the then-chief executive of Trump’s campaign, marveled at how clueless his boss was on even the most basic aspects of governance.
“Holy fuck, this guy [Trump] doesn’t know anything,” Bannon reportedly said. “And he doesn’t give a shit.”
The alleged comment was sparked after a furious Trump reportedly lambasted both Bannon and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie upon learning that he would be responsible for paying his transition team.
“Fuck the law,” Trump reportedly said. “I don’t give a fuck about the law. I want my fucking money.”
Even those who witnessed the transfer of power firsthand pushed back on McEnany’s remarks.
“Not true. In fact, less than 48 hours after the election had been called Donald Trump’s transition team was able to use the State Department system to send me a cable asking for my resignation,” Said Dan Baer, a diplomat who served under Obama.
McEnany’s inaccurate claim comes as Trump continues to challenge the outcome of the 2020 election in court by using debunked claims of widespread voter fraud.
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*First Published: Nov 21, 2020, 12:16 pm
Mikael Thalen is a tech and security reporter based in Seattle, covering social media, data breaches, hackers, and more.