At Wednesday’s press briefing, Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany addresses President Trump’s tweets on Goodyear tires and Amazon.
Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany kicked off Wednesday’s press briefing with an attack on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who she said failed to provide a coronavirus relief bill for the American people.
“While Nancy Pelosi and her colleagues went home, this President remained hard at work,” said McEnany.
McEnany praised President Trump for his executive orders, which she said stopped evictions, provided unemployment insurance, paused student loan payments, and cut the payroll tax.
Of these actions, Trump did two — the executive orders reduced the $600-a-week unemployment benefits to $400-a-week and paused federal student loan payments. He did not stop eviction, as his executive order only urged agencies to consider a moratorium, and he did not cut payroll tax, he placed a temporary deferral on it.
However, for McEnany, the real point of indignation is that Pelosi and the Democrats returned to the Hill not for the relief bill, but for something else: the U.S. Postal Service, an institution ravaged by financial instability.
Democrats have concerns about Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s new changes to the service, which critics said undermines casting ballots by mail.
McEnany dismissed concerns over USPS, calling it “the latest Democrat manufactured crisis.” She said Democrats rejected a $10 billion offer to the service, but failed to mention that they push instead for a bill to give $25 billion in funding.
On Wednesday, Trump called for his followers to boycott Goodyear tires after an employee posted a viral photo of a company policy banning “Make America Great Again” and other political apparel at work.
Trump tweeted: "Don't buy GOODYEAR TIRES - They announced a BAN ON MAGA HATS. Get better tires for far less! (This is what the Radical Left Democrats do. Two can play the same game, and we have to start playing it now!)"
McEnany defended his tweet after a slew of reporters questioned her about his intentions. As a private-owned company, Goodyear has the authorization to ban political speech at work, a practice common for many companies.
The photo that went viral showed that Goodyear approved of “Black Lives Matter” and LGBT pride apparel but not “Blue Lives Matter,” “All Lives Matter,” “MAGA” or other political apparel.
Goodyear issued a statement following Trump’s tweet which said "the visual in question was not created or distributed by Goodyear corporate." The statement also clarified company policy which requests that employees at work refrain from supporting political parties or candidates, as well as advocacy that falls outside the scope of racial justice and equity issues.
But McEnany pointed out what was, to her, a double standard, in which company employees can support the Black Lives Matter movement at work but not Blue Lives Matter.
“What was clearly targeted was a certain ideology. They have not denied that that image was presented at one of their facilities, and they need to come up,” said McEnany.
McEnany defended Blue Lives Matter as an equity issue, referencing instances in which protestors supporting Black Lives Matter injured or threatened police officers.
“I will stand at this podium and say Blue Lives Matter is an equity issue and Goodyear needs to come out and acknowledge that,” said McEnany. “The reason why [the President] called for the boycott was over MAGA, MAGA is pretty much unanimous with Blue Lives Matter.”
Though his administration attempted to cut costs for postal service, Trump went on Twitter on Tuesday to cast the blame on something else for USPS’s decline: Amazon.
“@Amazon, and others in that business, should be charged (by the U.S. Postal System) much more per package, and the Post Office would be immediately brought back to “good health”, now vibrant, with ALL jobs saved. No pass on to customers. Get it done!” Trump tweeted.
In 2018, He also tapped Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin to lead a task force to update the postal service, which resulted in a report that, as the New York Times wrote, left it “ripe for financial collapse” by introducing cost-cutting measures such as cutting postal workers’ pay.
Trump appointed DeJoy as Postmaster General in June to carry out these measures. In his two months in office, DeJoy also oversaw the removal of underused mailboxes and replacement of sorting equipment.
Yet to Trump, the postal service’s crumbling finances have to do with it not charging high enough rates to private companies like Amazon and UPS.
At the press briefing, McEnany clarified that the postal service can only price for letters, magazines and catalogs only by the rate of inflation, but that does not apply to commercial freight like Amazon. DeJoy proposed raising prices for Amazon packages
“We don't believe that Amazon to be able to push expensive packages to the post office and burden them further when they've already had issues with funding,” said McEnany. “It's a business model that works for Amazon but it's not one that works for the American people and clearly not one that works for the post office.”
McEnany: ‘90 killers would still be on the streets today without the law and order actions of President Trump’
To close the briefing, McEnany shared some news about Operation Legend, an initiative spearheaded by the Trump administration in which federal agents can deploy to help local law enforcement officers. This operation is a part of Trump’s national crackdown on violent crimes in cities in wake of the George Floyd protests.
Together, these agents and officers made more than 1,000 arrests, including suspects in 90 homicides, according to Attorney General William Barr.
The operation’s name honors four-year-old LeGend Taliferro, shot and killed in Kansas City, Missouri, on June 29th. Last week, authorities in Kansas City announced the arrest of the suspect in the killing of LeGend. 200 agents deployed to help local authorities track and arrest LeGend’s murderer.
McEnany said, “90 killers would still be on the streets today without the law and order actions of President Trump.”
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