Federal judge denies DOJ’s bid to intervene in Trump defamation suit
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany once praised Joe Biden as “a man of the people” capable of “coming off as human” and “resonating with middle class voters”.
In an interview with a New York radio station in 2015, she also said that though she thought Donald Trump would be more likely to beat Biden, then considering a run for president, than Hillary Clinton, “I think the juxtaposition of kind of the man of the people and kind of this tycoon, is a problem.”
A week before Trump faces Biden for re-election, the comments from five years ago were reported by Andrew Kaczynski of CNN, a reporter who specialises in burrowing through the strata of internet time, looking for forgotten comments by public figures which now seem unfortunate or embarrassment.
“I think the Republicans run into a problem if it is Joe Biden and if it is maybe a Trump on the other side,” McEnany told AM970 in 2015. “Because Joe Biden, one of the things he is remarkable at is really kind of being a man of the people and resonating with middle class voters. Feeling like – coming off as human. His gaffes – as much as we make fun of them – to a certain extent they make him look human. So not, since he’s likable.”
McEnany also said, presciently, that though “the juxtaposition of kind of the man of the people and kind of this tycoon, is a problem” in any Biden-Trump match-up, “Donald Trump’s remarkably coming off as a man of the people despite being this wealthy business tycoon.”
The same week, McEnany spoke to Fox Business Network.
“When you have Joe Biden here who’s funny and likeable and can resonate with the middle class,’ she said, “he really can speak to the average, everyday American, versus Hillary Clinton who’s cold and somber. Remember when she had to – that calculated move of drinking a drink at a bar to seem like a human being. Joe Biden is a human and people will resonate with that. I predict he will be the nominee.”
Biden wasn’t, of course, but he is now and a week out from election day he leads the incumbent president in most national polls and in most battleground states, though some leads are narrowing as Trump campaigns hard.
In a statement to CNN, McEnany parroted Trump administration attack lines when she had now learned of Biden’s “profound personal corruption” and called him “an empty vessel for the liberal elites and far left”.
Twitter will begin “pre-bunking” misinformation at the top of American users’ timelines in the final week before the US election, the company has announced. Facts about voting by mail and, once the count begins, election results, will be placed on the top of the timeline in an effort to get ahead of viral falsehoods before they are even posted.
“Election experts confirm that voting by mail is safe and secure, even with an increase in mail-in ballots,” says one message the company will run. “Even so, you might encounter unconfirmed claims that voting by mail leads to election fraud ahead of the 2020 US elections.”
Twitter says the practice is an important new tool in its fight against viral misinformation, because it does not require the company to wait for a specific falsehood to be shared and then debunked. Under the company’s current approach, the only people to ever see its fact-check labels, which are applied to topics including Covid and voting, are those who have already seen a tweet with misinformation, placing the company on a permanent back foot.
“Pre-bunk” branding aside, the approach mirrors the strategy Facebook and Instagram have been using to fight Covid misinformation since the early days of the pandemic. Both sites have received prominent banners at the top of their respective feeds, which Facebook says has led to more than 600 million people clicking through to read information from health authorities including the NHS and WHO.