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McEnany: Trump was 'never given an orderly transition of power'

White House holds first press briefing since Trump lost election

Published: November 20, 2020 12:53pm

Updated: November 20, 2020 5:02pm

In the first White House press conference since major news outlets called the 2020 election for Joe Biden, press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said President Trump was not "given an orderly transition of power." 

Joe Biden has complained that he is not getting high-level briefing, and other Democrats have alleged that Trump administration officials are not working with Biden team officials on a transition.

"We've talked a lot about transfer of power and the election. And it's worth remembering that this president was never given an orderly transition of power," McEnany said. "His presidency was never accepted. In fact, before the election his election we know Crossfire Hurricane was launched by [former FBI agent] Peter Strzok to pursue baseless allegations about the president's ties with Russia."

"And what happened after he was elected, you had 70 lawmakers say we're not coming to his inauguration. Democratic lawmakers, you had [Massachusetts Sen.] Elizabeth Warren, saying, we're going to attempt to obstruct the Trump transition by urging the Government Accountability Office to investigate the incoming Trump transition," McEnany said.

"Many sought to undermine him, discredit him, delegitimize him and deny his victory. There were no calls for unity, there were no calls for healing. So while every legal vote is counted, let us not forget the inexcusable transition, or lack thereof, that President Trump had to endure in 2016, and for years into this presidency," the press secretary said.

But then-President Barack Obama hosted Trump in the Oval Office on Nov. 10 – two days after the 2016 presidential election –and Democrat Hillary Clinton also quickly conceded the election to Trump.

On the election results, McEnany said, "The president's been very clear, he wants every legal vote to be counted."

"There is ongoing litigation, what we know 74 million Americans have voted for this president and more votes than any president has gotten in history," she also said at her first press briefing in 49 days. "There are very real claims that the campaign are pursuing," referring to the campaign's ongoing lawsuits in battleground states that Biden narrowly won.

Throughout the brief press conference, McEnany was badgered by "Playboy" reporter Brian Karem as she took questions.

“When will you admit you lost?” Karem yelled from the back of the briefing room. At another point, he shouted: "When will you admit you lost the election?"

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