October 3, 2020
Fox’s John Roberts grilled Press Secretary Kayleigh Mcenany about the President’s response to a question about white supremacy asked by Fox News anchor Chris Wallace during the debates Tuesday night.
I’d like to ask you a definitive and declarative statement without ambiguity or deflection, as the person who speaks for the President, does the President does the President denounce white supremacism and groups that espouse it in all their forms?”John Roberts, FOX News
Kayleigh then provided a long list of quotes from the President denouncing white supremacy over the past several years. This list apparently wasn’t good enough for Roberts, who asked the same question again and demanded an answer that he was already provided. Kayleigh responded “If you would like the list in writing, I can get that for you.” This video shows the encounter, which lasts approximately 2 minutes.
After the confrontation, Roberts threw an on-air tantrum when asked about the encounter.
The question stemmed from a question asked of the President at the first of three Presidential debates between the President himself and Democratic opponent Joe Biden the night before. Wallace asked of the President:
“You have repeatedly criticized the vice president for not specifically calling out Antifa and other left wing extremist groups. But are you willing tonight to condemn white supremacists and militia group and to say that they need to stand down and not add to the violence in a number of these cities as we saw in Kenosha and as we’ve seen in Portland.”Chris Wallace, 41:33 into the debate
“Sure, I’m willing to do that.”President Trump, 41:57 into the debate
“Are you prepared specifically to do it.”Chris Wallace, 41:59 into the debate
Although he specifically just did by saying “Sure,” Trump replied.
“I would say almost everything I see is from the left wing not from the right wing.”President Trump, 42:00 into the debate
And Trump would be correct. Violence in cities across America over the past several months has been almost exclusively tied to left-wing organizations Antifa and Black Lives Matter.
Wallace had previously asked this same question of the President in 2016 at a previous presidential debate.
What are your views on the Ku Klux Klan, and what supremacists?Chris Wallace, Presidential Debate 2016
I totally disavow the Ku Klux Klan, I totally disavow David Duke…Candidate Donald Trump, Presidential Debate 2016
Critics of Chris Wallace were quick to point this out, saying that Wallace already got confirmation of this in 2016, so why pose the question again?
Critics of Wallace likened this to a Tweet made by CNN correspondent Jim Acosta. The tweet suggests that President Trump, after not previously doing so, had “finally condemned white supremacists.”
Apparently Acosta had forgotten about his own tweet from a few years prior, just as Wallace must have forgotten about his question from the previous debate.
The question was asked in a seemingly out-of-context moment during the debate. Not only had Trump answered the question several times before, and not only had Trump made any remarks during the debate which could be construed as racist, Wallace never asked Joe Biden any similar questions about racist comments he has made in the past, which are on tape. Wallace also didn’t ask any questions of Joe Biden regarding the 1994 Crime Bill, which Joe Biden has on many occasions taken credit for “authoring,” which dis-proportionally affected black Americans in a negative way.
FOX News had Chris Wallace as a guest speaker on nearly every show the following day to explain his actions during the debate, which further angered critics.