Chris Wallace was back to challenging the Trump administration on “Fox News Sunday” this week, criticizing Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany for impugning the faith of reporters who questioned the president’s push to reopen places of worship.
On Friday, Trump threatened to “override” the authority of governors if they did not reopen religious buildings that have been closed in an effort to control the spread of COVID-19. When reporters told McEnany that the president had no legal authority to do so, she responded by saying she found it “interesting to be in a room that desperately wants to seem to see these churches and houses of worship stay closed.”
McEnany then told the White House press corps what questions they should be asking, specifically, about Mike Flynn.
Watch the video clip above.
“I spent six years in the White House briefing room covering Ronald Reagan,” Wallace began on his Sunday broadcast. “I have to say, I never — and in the years since too — I never saw a White House press secretary act like that. I have to say that if Kayleigh McEnany had told Sam Donaldson and me what questions we should ask, that would not have gone well.”
He went on: “Kayleigh McEnany isn’t acting like she’s working for the public. She acts like she is what she used to be, which is a spokesperson for the Trump campaign.”
Wallace also questioned Dr. Deborah Birx, one of the lead members of Trump’s coronavirus task force, about the White House’s push to reopen the economy. All 50 U.S. states have reopened to various degrees as of this weekend, leading some COVID-19 models to predict the U.S. death toll to rise from around 100,000 today to 150,000 by the end of August.
“A month ago, you are saying we were going to come down below the low end of the model, which is 100- to 240,000, to 60,000,” Wallace said. “So, I guess my question is, in this last month, did you underestimate the strength of the virus? Did we reopen too soon? Did we reopen without sufficient restrictions?”
Birx responded by saying that the White House task force has used different models to understand how the virus is impacting both the U.S. and other countries.
“We understand that our mortality rates are less than those three countries, and that’s really due to the incredible work of our front-line hospital workers,” she said. “But we understand that these number of infections has led to this level of mortality, and our job now going forward is to do everything we can to prevent additional hospitalizations and additional mortality.”
Wallace has become a regular critic of Trump throughout his term, accusing him last year of “direct sustained assault on the freedom of the press.” Trump has struck back at Wallace via Twitter, calling him a “Mike Wallace wannabe” last month and saying he was “worse” than MSNBC anchor Chuck Todd.