Trump's press secretary says with any other president, 'the media would take him at his word'

Peter Weber

After President Trump said Monday he has been taking hydroxychloroquine in an attempt to ward of COVID-19, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany released a letter from White House physician Sean Conley attesting to his conversations with Trump about the risks and benefits of taking the anti-malaria drug. A reporter asked McEnany on Tuesday why the letter "seemed very carefully written" to avoid saying Conley actually prescribed hydroxychloroquine for Trump.

"The reason is the president of the United States said it," McEnany replied, "and if it were any other president of the United States, the media would take him at his word."

There was widespread agreement that at least the last half of that pronouncement is true. "First, reporters usually question presidents. That's their job," tweeted Princeton historian Julian Zelizer. "Second, the assumption that this president can't ever be trusted points to the problem with Trump not the news media." Vox's Aaron Rupar awarded McEnany a "gold medal in the Self-Own Olympics."

As of the last count by The Washington Post's fact-check department, on April 3, Trump had made 18,000 false or misleading claims as president, a first-term average of more than 15 false claims a day — but more frequent, 23 times a day, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Really, the Post notes in the video below, Trump frequently tells the same whopper over and over again. You can also dive into his untruths in the Post's database.

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