White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany may have found herself in an uncomfortable position on Thursday when Fox News anchor Ed Henry briefly pressed her on her lengthy history of voting by mail.
Over the past several weeks, President Donald Trump has railed against mail-in ballots as more states consider expanding the process amid the coronavirus pandemic, falsely claiming that vote-by-mail is rife with fraud and abuse. The president’s repeated falsehoods on the topic were eventually flagged by Twitter, prompting outrage from conservatives and the president drafting an executive order about social media.
During a typically friendly interview with McEnany on Fox News’ America’s Newsroom, co-anchor Ed Henry brought up the press secretary’s own reliance on Florida’s mail-in voting system, something she has utilized 11 times in the past decade.
“So why is it OK for you to do it—I understand you’re traveling and in a different city—but how can we be assured that your votes were counted accurately, but when other people do it, it’s fraud?” Henry wondered aloud.
“The president has been very clear, every American is entitled to vote the way that I did,” the spokesperson responded. “If you are working out of state and your domicile is in a different state, you are absolutely entitled to request an absentee ballot and cast your ballot by mail.”
“I am entitled to that, and the average viewer is entitled to that, the president has no qualms with that,” McEnany added. “He’s for absentee voters for a reason. What he’s not for is mass, mail-in voting, what Nancy Pelosi is asking for, which is subject to fraud.”
After the press secretary reiterated that the president—who has also used mail-in ballots—is fine with absentee voting if voters “have a reason,” co-anchor Sandra Smith moved on, saying “that’s where the White House stand on the issue.”
While McEnany and Trump continue to misleadingly frame their own use of mail-in voting as “absentee ballots” because they were out of state, Florida’s own election law explicitly notes that all voters there are eligible for mail-in voting.
“Vote-by-mail refers to voting a ballot received by mail or picked up by or for a voter instead of going to the polls to vote during early voting period or Election Day. Except on Election Day, no excuse is needed to vote a vote-by-mail ballot,” the Florida Division of Elections website reads.