Trump White House spokeswoman learned mid-lunch about the Capitol riot, new transcript shows
A newly released transcript of Kayleigh McEnany’s interview with the January 6 committee revealed how the Trump White House press secretary learned, while eating lunch in her office, that the situation at the US Capitol had become violent.
“I initially went back to my office to eat lunch, but I eventually turned up the volume on Fox News,” McEnany told the committee.
The House committee investigating the January 6 attack on the US Capitol on Friday released its latest batch of transcripts from interviews conducted during the probe. The new transcripts include interviews with the former press secretary and former President Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka.
According to the latest tranche of documents, McEnany returned to the White House from Trump’s rally at the Ellipse, and eventually went to her office to eat lunch – a turkey sandwich.
Soon, a CBS News producer “stormed” into her office and asked for her “thoughts about the Capitol.” McEnany said she was “totally blindsided by what (the reporter) was referring to.”
She then alerted White House chief of staff Mark Meadows about the reporter’s inquiry and about the reports of minor injuries at the Capitol, McEnany said.
At some point during the riot, McEnany said she received a text from deputy press secretary Judd Deere, who relayed that he was “getting asked if we have any reaction to people storming Hill office buildings.”
When interviewed by the House panel, Rep. Liz Cheney, the GOP vice chair of the committee, pressed McEnany on her apparent inaction upon hearing reports of violence, implying a lack of urgency.
“[Deere] sends you a text message saying that people are storming, this says, Hill office buildings,” Cheney said. “And you were just eating a turkey sandwich and just didn’t – didn’t register?”
McEnany then rebuffed Cheney’s depiction, according to transcripts.
“I definitely reject the characterization that I was just eating a turkey sandwich and would ignore a text about Capitol Hill office buildings being stormed. I likely wouldn’t have seen it at the time,” McEnany replied, saying the text was likely sent to her personal phone, which would have been on her desk.
“I in no way, shape, or form would eat a turkey sandwich if I thought Capitol Hill was being sieged,” she added.
McEnany met virtually with the committee in January after being initially subpoenaed last year.
The public release of transcripts comes in conjunction with the committee’s final report, a comprehensive overview of the bipartisan panel’s findings on how Trump and his allies sought to overturn the 2020 presidential election, released late Thursday evening.