Kayleigh McEnany left a reporter alone in the Oval Office for 30 minutes, book claims

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Kayleigh McEnany at a White House news briefing. (EPA)
Kayleigh McEnany at a White House news briefing. (EPA)

A reporter says he was left alone for roughly a half hour while waiting on former President Donald Trump for an interview, a highly unusual situation that could raise obvious security concerns.

In excerpts of Frankly, We Did Win This Election: The Inside Story of How Trump Lost by author Michael Bender, the Wall Street Journal reporter describes how he was asked by former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany if he had specific items to talk to Mr Trump about, which led him to realize that the White House had no plan for a message it wanted to push during his meeting, according to Raw Story.

Ms McEnany then ushered him into the Oval Office, which he described as “otherwise empty”, and told him that the president would arrive in “60 seconds.” The actual wait was close to a half hour.

Mr Bender was apparently not accompanied by Secret Service or any White House officials at the time, leaving him the perfect opportunity to snag a selfie behind the Resolute Desk, snag a souvenir, or something else. The Oval Office, where the president often meets with dignitaries and domestic leaders, is one of the most secure areas in the White House.

The exact date and time of Mr Bender’s exceedingly rare self-guided tour of the Oval Office was not clear from the excerpts in Raw Story, but apparently occurred some time through 2020, the president’s last year in the White House and a time during which the White House was described as a ghost town amid the Covid-19 pandemic and eventual defeat of the former president in November.

The Independent has reached out to former Secret Service agents to inquire about the procedures for guests being left unattended in the Oval Office, as well as the agency itself for comment about Mr Bender’s claim.

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