Early Tuesday morning, President Donald Trump tweeted out a baseless conspiracy theory that 75-year-old Buffalo protester Martin Gugino, who was shoved to the ground by police and left bleeding on the sidewalk, “could be an ANTIFA provocateur.”
It took more than nine hours for Fox News to even mention the tweet until a two-minute discussion on Bret Baier’s show early Tuesday evening. But when White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany appeared Wednesday morning on Fox & Friends, co-host Brian Kilmeade decided it was time to ask what that was all about.
And unlike the Republican lawmakers who conveniently had not seen the tweet in question, McEnany doubled down.
“Could you expand on that?” Kilmeade asked. “Does the president think that this guy is part of antifa?”
“So the president was raising questions based on a report that he saw, other questions that need to be asked,” McEnany replied, referring to an OAN cable news segment based on an obscure blog post from The Conservative Treehouse and delivered by Russian reporter Kristian Rouz, who has also worked for the Kremlin propaganda outlet Sputnik.
“In every case, we can’t jump on one side without looking at all the facts at play,” she continued. “This individual had some very questionable tweets, some profanity-laden tweets about police officers.”
McEnany went on to nonsensically use the fact that 57 police officers resigned in protest over the suspension of their colleagues who shoved Gugino as evidence of something amiss. “I think we need to ask why those officers resigned, what happened, what facts were on the ground and the president was just raising some of those questions,” she said.
Kilmeade, for his part, didn’t seem entirely satisfied with those answers. “What about the timing of it?” he asked, noting that Trump’s tweet came on the morning of George Floyd’s funeral—which took up about four of those nine hours in which Fox did not cover Trump’ s tweet. “With all the unrest in the country, do you think the timing was right?”
“Look, the president has acknowledged so many times, and rightfully so, the injustice with George Floyd,” McEnany said. “He was upset when he saw that video, as I noted.”
“He gave an entire speech about Mr. Floyd and the grave injustice there,” she continued, apparently referring to the short portion of Trump’s longer speech at NASA about the killing. “But the president was raising some questions, some legitimate ones about that particular interaction and it’s his prerogative to do so.”