Press Releases

CAIR Condemns Selection of Trump’s New Islamophobic Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany

McEnany has a long history of defending and promoting Islamophobia and anti-immigrant bigotry

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 4/7/2020) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today condemned President Trump’s selection of Kayleigh McEnany as White House press secretary because of her long history of defending and promoting Islamophobic bigotry.

In 2014, McEnany participated in Fox Business news segment titled “How big of a threat is Islam?” during which she sat alongside white supremacist Proud Boys co-founder Gavin McInnes. McEnany repeatedly hyped the threat of extremism among Muslims, while McInnes argued that Muslims are prone to violence because of genetic defects caused by “inbreeding.”

In 2016, McEnany wrote on Twitter: “Obama endlessly preaches tolerance of Islam but never mentions this — ‘Genocide: Christian Population in Iraq Drops 80% in a Decade’.

In 2017, McEnany wrote an op-ed for The Hill decrying “far-left” German Chancellor Angela Merkel and European nations allowing Muslim refugees to enter their borders, which McEnany claimed “resulted in a culture in crisis – a culture without democratic, freedom-loving identity and constantly under murderous attack from cancers within.” 

In March 2019, while working as Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign national press secretary, McEnany downplayed the president’s past anti-Muslim comment, “I think Islam hates us,” by mentioning that Trump “had many Muslim friends.”

Statement by CAIR Director of Government Affairs Department Robert S. McCaw:

“We are outraged, but not surprised, that President Trump has once again appointed an anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant extremist to a White House position. 

“Among other things, Ms. McEnany has defended President Trump’s Islamophobia, blamed multiculturalism in Europe for terrorism, and even participated in a panel discussion titled, “How Big of a Threat is Islam?” 

“Just as a person who participated in a panel discussion titled “How Big of a Threat is Judaism?” would have no business serving in our government, Ms. McEnany has no place speaking for our government.

“To be clear, Ms. McEnany’s appointment is not an oversight in vetting: the Trump Administration very clearly seeks out and welcomes appointees with a history of pedding Islamophobia, anti-immigrant bigotry, and other far-right views. She should feel right at home serving this president.”

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.

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CONTACT: CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw, 202-742-6448, rmccaw@cair.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, ihooper@cair.com

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