May 16, 2020

I'm seeing a lot of adulation of Kayleigh McEnany coming from the right...

... but I watched this one in real time yesterday...



... and I thought it was clumsy and nonresponsive. I felt a little embarrassed for her. Later, looking at social media, I saw her extolled by people who, I think, are expressing their real enthusiasm.

For example, at Instapundit, there's Ed Driscoll, offering that clip and saying: "REPORTER ASKS KAYLEIGH MCENANY TO EXPLAIN OBAMAGATE AND THE CRIMES ALLEGEDLY COMMITTED, IMMEDIATELY REGRETS IT." No, I don't think that reporter regretted it, immediately or later. I think he believed he put her on the spot and followed up accurately and intensely and brought out her inability to state clearly and concisely what the "Obamagate" crimes are supposed to be.

And on Twitter, Mike Cernovich presented the same clip and remarked — again, with the all caps — "WHO IS THIS QUEEN????" To which, Scott Adams chimed in, "It’s a slaughter."

Do they know they're doing propaganda or are they simply enthralled? Or am I wrong to stand apart and aloof and resist what is a stunningly articulate spokeswoman with a true and a powerful message to deliver?

ADDED: McEnany was absolutely on notice that she needed to have a better answer than Trump, who said, when asked basically the same question: "You know what the crime is, the crime is very obvious to everybody, all you have to do is read the newspapers, except yours."

261 comments:

1 – 200 of 261   Newer›   Newest»
Unknown said...

She probably should have just referred to the Durham investigation, and told the reporter to stay tuned.

rhhardin said...

She's using canned zingers. No double zingers off the cuff like Trump.

rhhardin said...

Her useful function her making reporters look bad where before the theater was to make reporters look good.

Rather than her being a token exercise in female rhetorical skill.

LordSomber said...

She did a decent job explaining. I just tend to ignore the hyperbole and absurdities of the headline writer and watch/read the actual material myself.
Kinda like the subject of the previous post.

iowan2 said...

Domestic spying on a political campaign.

This is very simple. But reducing it to soundbite is impossible. There are 10's of thousands of documents that are hard evidence. DNC scribes are social distancing themselves from these documents.

tim maguire said...

Asking for a precise statement of the crime at this stage is bad faith questioning. They would never do that to a Democrat. A real question would be to ask for a more general description of the wind doing. It's up to the prosecutor, if any, to describe it in terms of criminal law.

Levi Starks said...

Well, she’s not a law professor if that’s what you mean.

wendybar said...

The activists (fake journalists)know exactly what Obamagate means, but they will forever go to their graves protecting their messiah from those who try to tarnish him. If you haven't figured out what they did illegally by now you are either ignorant or willfully not willing to think they are as corrupt as they are.

mezzrow said...

With Cruel Neutrality as her sword, Althouse resists the siren call of the Right.

rhhardin said...

The right is a mob like the left, just entertained by different memes, once it gets to social media.

Instapundit click bait genre.

Ganderson said...

I’d guess the evaluations of her would be less effusive if she looked like Bella Abzug.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

who does Trump's hiring?

Derek Kite said...

Are you saying that the list of things she said are not possible criminal acts?

From what I understand there are specific laws detailing charges and penalties.

Using NSA intercepts, identifying the american citizen involved through unmasking then leaking to the press what was intercepted would have horrified your generation at one point in time.

rehajm said...

Bah. Not her job to lay out the crimes for the press. She could have deferred, yes, but the media isn't looking for information and the white house isn't interested in giving it. The goal on both sides of these briefings is to score political points. In that she did well.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

she used to be anti-Trump.
WTF? Was she hired because she's a cute blonde?

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

If she watches mainstream pro-Democratic hack propaganda press, she probably has no idea what an "obamagate" is.

Lurker21 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lurker21 said...

It's not propaganda, just a difference in perception. Each side is convinced that they already know the answers and don't really need to ask or answer the questions. It's all Kabuki, going through the motions when they know they don't mean anything. "Owning" or "pwning" just means somebody played their part well.

McEnany did have a good point, though. The press has been assuming that there was something illegal behind the Russia thing and digging and digging for it. "Obamagate," or whatever you want to call it, is a blatant case of something wrong, a massive failure of the system, whether or not it was illegal. Why isn't the press digging? Why are so many media people trying to hide what looks like a scandal? Reporters ought to report, not expect to be spoon-fed by authorities and not simply spoon-feed the public.

iowan2 said...

I did watch the video. (I hate having to do video homework). You can accurately claim she was non-responsive. That is the norm, not an aberration. The Press Secretary is busy trying to derail the DNC scribes narrative. The White House press secretary is dancing to the tune dictated by the media. McEnany is working to change the tune to one of the administrations liking. The high ground of substance should be enough to carry the day. Will it?

mandrewa said...

I watch the first 20 seconds and I get angry.

I'm mad about the question and the attitude of the reporter. Of course everyone involved should go to jail. (I'm talking about the ethics of it. The scale of these acts and their implications and I'm not talking about the legal case.) We should tear down the government agencies that did this and salt their earth.

I was a teenager when Watergate happened and Watergate was a minor ethical error compared to this.

I can't watch this right now because every time I think about this I get furious.

iowan2 said...

Upvote rehajm @8:29

Yes lets be done with the lie, the DNC scribes are seeking facts to report. After 3 years of them pushing a Russia hoax lacking any facts at all, the DNC media has made their goal clear.

Limited blogger said...

Nice to see Trump has opened another front to fight the disinformation campaign being waged against him.

wild chicken said...

Right wing guys love it when MILFs do the talking for them. See, e.g., Coulter, Malkin.

Not sure why.

rcocean said...

Trump's answer was perfect. What do you expect, that Trump will give a detailed answer to what Obama Adminstration did wrong, and the NYT/Wapo/CNN will report it? Let alone report it fairly?

They're giving Trump 92% negative coverage. They've refused to apologize for their lies and bad coverage of Mueller-Trump-Russia. The headline at "Memorandum" is "Abrams says Obamagate is 100% bullshit". The MSM asking for details is just a troll tactic. TRump should just keep attacking and say Obamagate is bad. Giving details and "Making a case" gets him nowhere.

Jeff Brokaw said...

Considering the setting she did fine. Just watching pushback of any kind is thrilling.

Besides, the big takeaway here is the press, rather than doing its job, is asking the White House to do it. WTF?!

Go do some investigating! It’s your f*cking job, asshole!

rcocean said...

Coulter, Malkin, and Ingraham are great. Smart and Classy. Gays hate them.

Quayle said...

The question wasn’t in good faith, and never is these days.

Why does the answer have to be.

It is theatre. Both sides now know it. That is the change.

Chris of Rights said...

I don't think that was her best day and best moment. It was an adequate response, and better than some of her predecessors would have done.

I think you have to look at it in toto, though. Some of the other clips I've seen, particularly from her first day, are masterful. But she was well-prepared for that one.

I don't think she does as well off the cuff. She has some talking points that she goes to, and it's just like any other politico twisting a question to get to the talking points that she wants to make. But, as long as she can keep being prepared in advance, there won't be as much need to think on her feet.

So far, I give her and her team a 'B+' on preparation, and her delivery is also a 'B+'. But if I'm grading on a curve and comparing her to other Republican press secretaries, I'd probably give her an 'A+' on both. Tony Snow might have been better at being prepared. I'm not sure anyone else in recent memory has been.

Barry Dauphin said...

As political theater, it was OK. It was neither epic nor clumsy IMHO. I think cruel neutrality would be served if the reporter who asked the questions genuinely investigated the issue and took some time doing so. It is complicated (Watergate seemed quite complicated to the general public when it came out and didn't involve the FISA court which is, in essence, a secret court). There are more facts to be found. The reporter must be aware that there is a lot of smoke. Since he asked the question, he must be interested, no? Unless the reporter merely wanted political theater. Is the reporter curious enough about the elements of the crime to do real journalism? My hunch is, no. Is there a new Woodward & Bernstein at the modern WAPO? Haven't seen it yet.

Gahrie said...

I thought her answer was pretty clear and entirely accurate: "It's not my job to tell you what crimes were committed, it's your job to investigate and find out.".

Two-eyed Jack said...

At some point I expect that we will get a serious and thorough explanation, perhaps by Barr. Until then we will have spectacles like this and their companion, shows where the reporters in attendance pronounce themselves entirely unable to understand what crime there could be in this routine intelligence work. (That was exactly the approach on last night's Washington Week on PBS, and will be repeated tomorrow on all the useless Sunday shows.)

Ken B said...

Abusing positions of power and trust to attack a politician you oppose.

Mrs. X said...

Based on description (before watching) I expected fumfering and/or evasion. When I watched the clip, what I saw was an unflustered person giving a smooth answer in which she laid out some compelling facts. This is one of those one-screen-two-movies things, I guess.

Ann Althouse said...

"Are you saying that the list of things she said are not possible criminal acts?"

No. I'm saying she should have come straight at the question and listed crimes and the actions that fit or potentially fit within those crimes and thereby justified using the shorthand "Obamagate." She seemed to deflecting the question and pettifogging, and she had every reason to be precisely prepared after Trump was faced with the same question the other day and he had to bullshit: "You know what the crime is, the crime is very obvious to everybody, all you have to do is read the newspapers, except yours." That's funny. Great joking style. But he didn't have the answer, and she should have been ready. She wasn't.

Sebastian said...

"the crime is very obvious to everybody"

Well, there are crimes and there is Crime. The essential Crime of Obamagate was the use of government resources to attack the campaign of the opposing party and then to cripple the incoming administration. Trump and his spokeswoman are correct about that, and it is indeed obvious to everybody. Are you saying it's not obvious to you, Althouse?

Plus there are specific crimes. One minute in, she has already identified the FBI lying to the FISA court, the FBI planning entrapment of Flynn, McCabe leaking to the WSJ. I mean, those are crimes -- aren't they?

Temujin said...

There is one key that needs to continuously be repeated in the faces of Journalists! as they ask questions designed to make nothing out of the entire Russia collusion scandal. She did her job by pointing out the lack of curiosity on the part of our entire media complex when it comes to anything Obama, but particularly in this case. This is (and will be shown to be) among the biggest frauds and scandals in American history. A sitting President directing the machinery of a coup of the incoming President?

Yeah- you would think there would be at least a few questions asked over the past 4 years by our media watchdogs. But they are still working overtime covering for His Barackness. Seriously- it's bizarre. She did not have to be smooth. She merely needs to keep tossing that line of questioning right back in their faces, in public, and loudly proclaim "Where have YOU been on this story?" She did just that.

To suggest that she needs to point the Journalists! to the Durham investigation is absurd. She's right in pointing them to their own lack of curiosity, their own lack of investigatory effort. But then, I guess if the goal is to garner a Pulitzer Prize, striving for accuracy or truth have been shown to be unnecessary.

Quayle said...

Obama possibly implicated in directing the intelligence apparatus of the state on a political opponent. Crickets.

Trump saying people should go to jail. We better get to the bottom of this.

Say what you will, she’s showing how pathetic the current press is.

iowan2 said...

Flynn was under FBI counter intelligence investigation. The media can explain exactly what evidence predicated opening that spying on an American Citizen. Sound like a crime stipping a citizen of 4th amendment protections.0

We know from testimony under oath, this was coordinated from the Oval Office. Again, facts the DNC media are assiduously social distancing from.

Ann Althouse said...

"I did watch the video. (I hate having to do video homework). You can accurately claim she was non-responsive. That is the norm, not an aberration...."

Fine. So say here's another Press Secretary, doing that Press Secretary thing.

But that's not what these right-wingers are doing. They're saying all hail the queen! This post is about the adulation.

Bruce Hayden said...

I thought that she did a decent job. Part of her job, that differs from people in her position in an earlier Administration, is to take the fight to the enemy. I think that she has been moderately successful at that. There were really any of the real hard core gotcha questions yesterday that she had been knocking back so successfully in previous press conferences. I think that she, at least temporarily, has her opponents, the reporters there, cowed.

But she really desperately needs to do something about her eyelashes. I found them highly distracting. They appeared about 3 inches long, with about a pound of mascara on them. For an otherwise fairly attractive young woman, I think that they are completely out of place.

Big Mike said...

Or am I wrong to stand apart and aloof and resist what is a stunningly articulate spokeswoman with a true and a powerful message to deliver?

Yes, once you delete “stunningly.”

Leland said...

I think she identified a crime, in as much as identifying Valerie Plame was supposedly a crime worthy of a special investigator.

That said, I am tired of the "regretted it" and "it's a slaughter" type hyperbole. Nothing happened afterwards that moved anything. Nobody has been arrested (something the press cannot do), much of her complaint was about the press not being inquisitive (if it is a crime, then it is not the press failing to act), and the reporter noted at the beginning that it was Trump words about locking them up, so where is that action? I'd like to see it. Until it happens, then the cheerleading is for a losing proposition.

Lyle Smith said...

Aren't they avoiding naming the specific crime/s until they know everything they can prosecute the culprits on? That... or just dragging it along for maximum political use. Did the Democrats drag out Russiagate for three years? Have they even stopped with it?

rhhardin said...

She looks and sounds like an annoying person to me. Hey I'm pretty and smart. I don't think so.

A hint of a sense of humor would go a long way.

Quayle said...

The adulation seems to be about someone who calls out the press for their absolute lack of gumption to do what they claim is their sacred role and duty as the forth branch - find the truth.

Owen said...

wendybar@8:19: "The activists (fake journalists)know exactly what Obamagate means, but they will forever go to their graves protecting their messiah from those who try to tarnish him...." This.

The behavior of the "journalists" at these pressers can, at least in this regard, be described best as "studiously incomprehending." You can almost see the sweat as they work to avoid the real story.

Ann Althouse said...

"Right wing guys love it when MILFs do the talking for them. See, e.g., Coulter, Malkin. Not sure why."

Ha ha. Right. Sort of. I mean, I wouldn't call Coulter a MILF (even aside from my non-inclusion in the "I" of MILF). Coulter has never had children. I looked it up at Wikipedia:

"Coulter has been engaged several times, but she has never married and has no children. She has dated Spin founder and publisher Bob Guccione Jr. and conservative writer Dinesh D'Souza. In October 2007, she began dating Andrew Stein, the former president of the New York City Council, a liberal Democrat. When asked about the relationship, Stein told the New York Post, "She's attacked a lot of my friends, but what can I say, opposites attract!" On January 7, 2008, however, Stein told the New York Post that the relationship was over, citing irreconcilable differences. Kellyanne Conway, who refers to Coulter as a friend, told New York magazine in 2017 that Coulter "started dating her security guard probably ten years ago because she couldn't see anybody else". Coulter owns a house, bought in 2005, in Palm Beach, Florida, a condominium in Manhattan, and an apartment in Los Angeles. She votes in Palm Beach and is not registered to do so in New York or California. She is a fan of several jam bands, such as the Grateful Dead, the Dave Matthews Band, and Phish. Some of her favorite books include the Bible, Mere Christianity, Wuthering Heights, Anna Karenina, true crime stories about serial killers, and anything by Dave Barry."

My favorite part of that is the list of jam bands she likes.

Brian said...


No. I'm saying she should have come straight at the question and listed crimes and the actions that fit or potentially fit within those crimes and thereby justified using the shorthand "Obamagate."


Why? Why does she have to have the answer? Why should Trump?

What would that accomplish? She can't charge anyone. She's not privy to grand jury testimony that might be happening. They aren't trying to convict Obama and put him in jail. They are priming our minds to accept that some bad things happened and Obama was at the head of it (rightly or wrongly). The details will come out.

But if she had fallen into the trap that you have laid out the press would have spent the next week talking to "legal experts" about how everybody is already innocent.

Basically a Michael Flynn in reverse.

Nope, Trump doesn't play that game. He's inside their OODA loop not the reverse.

Cernovich and Scott recognize that, hence their comments.

Ann, you are treating her like a student in one of your courses. She's not seeking a grade from you. She has a different agenda.

And it's working. Because even you are talking about "Obamagate". You want to know the details. You want to know if it's possible. Otherwise you wouldn't care that she didn't answer the question with details.

Quaestor said...

"Obamagate" is a stupid coinage, just as every other scandal and pseudo-scandal since Nixon's downfall that got named "...gate". Every time I hear or read "...gate" I cringe. Those words are fingernails on the blackboard of my mind.

Treason is the word for what has been done to this country since Lisa Page's first blowjob on Peter Strzok. Obama knows much more about fraudulent FISA warrants, wiretaps, and phony dossiers, and phony prosecutions than he admits, which makes him an accessory to treason at the very least.

Jersey Fled said...

These press conferences are theater. The press pontificates under pretense of asking a legitimate, newsworthy question, and Trump or his surrogate tries to slap them around a little bit. It's about who wins, not about uncovering information.

McEnany hits back hard, unlike some of her predecessors. She throws their game right back at them. It doesn't have to be artful.

That's what the right likes about her.

Owen said...

Ann Althouse @8:52: "...This post is about the adulation."

Well, yes. Mastery of facts. Speaks in complete sentences. Fearless but not perturbed. Totally professional beat-downs of deserving idiots, administered all day long, no extra charge. So, yes, adulation.

traditionalguy said...

OK. She did not list the criminal charge as the reporter demanded. Now everyone has to think themselves about it. She emulated Trump’s trick. Which is her job to do in a sword fight with an attack reporter. She is not sent out to one up Trump and make herself look smarter than him. She wants to keep her job.

As for her admirers, and I am one, she is able to show bold aggression in the challenges thrown at her. The reason Trump quit fencing with the attack reporters is realized that it was bringing him down to their level. Now Mcenany is taking the fire and giving it back...and she is a sincere young woman.

tcrosse said...

And now the excellent Catherine Herridge has been branded a right-wing hack.

David Begley said...

Scott Johnson of Power Line was impressed.

Karga said...

Well what is wrong with her approach? Just mentioning few facts which are going around and she understands the reporter was asking desperately for bullshitting and she obliges. Plus I love her voice.

traditionalguy said...

Coup d’etat Treasongate. But that won’t fit on a ball cap.

I'm Full of Soup said...

You are being obtuse Althhouse.

I just went to Philadelphia Inquirer website and queried the name Samantha Power. It was last reported on their website on a book review written by Samantha Power. So yeah the media has placed a tight embargo on any news related to the unmaskings.

LuAnn Zieman said...

She absolutely DID note the one thing that is a crime, and called it that--the leaking of an unmasked US citizen's name to the press. That is a felony. The reporter just didn't like the listing of all the other things that were dirty, shady, unscrupulous, and other synonyms for immoral. However, the use of the dossier to gain the FISA warrant is illegal as well, I believe.

Ann Althouse said...

Trump said "You know what the crime is, the crime is very obvious to everybody, all you have to do is read the newspapers, except yours."

That's just plainly wrong. The crime is not very obvious to everybody. I don't know what it is. The only crime McEnany was able to come up with, after a lot of stalling and blabbing, is one instance of leaking. But what crime includes Obama? Name it, specifically, name the criminal statute, and it needs to be more than one instance of leaking. If you can't do that, you're caught without an answer. It's just a lot of trash talk. It's fun, maybe, when your side does good trash talk, but you're kidding yourself if you think the other side is "slaughtered" by what's getting you off.

Ann Althouse said...

Now, it's possible that what Obamagate means is that there was a conspiracy to commit treason (the "coup attempt") and *that*'s what Trump meant by "the crime is very obvious to everybody."

If so, I'm not surprised they won't say it in clear words.

Iman said...

The first comment by Unknown says it. Point to Durham, also with the knowledge there’s a wealth of info in Grenell’s satchel.

Big Mike said...

I don't know what it is.

Now that is a stunning admission to me.

But what crime includes Obama? Name it, specifically, name the criminal statute, and it needs to be more than one instance of leaking. If you can't do that, you're caught without an answer.

This isn't a court of law, the lady is not acting as a lawyer, and the audience she is trying to reach aren't jurors nor jurists. What did Barack Obama know and when did he know it, and did he, in fact, orchestrate it? His underlings committed the direct crimes, but did Barack Obama suborn their activities in a manner analogous to some crime boss directing his guys? We need to find out.

Limited blogger said...

Ann's post at 9:08 sums it up rather nicely.

People are reticent about accusing someone of treason.

Darkisland said...

I don't think it is pdjt's or her job to articulate specific crimes. Nor, especially, crimes under investigation.

The actual specific crimes should be kept secret until charges are filed. Keeping it a bit vague like this is fine with me.

What say the lawyers here? Should a DA or DOJ start talking about specific charges before they are ready to file?

Do they? What is the general practice?

John Henry

Big Mike said...

If so, I'm not surprised they won't say it in clear words.

Because you don't wish to believe it?

Wince said...

Ann Althouse said...
"Are you saying that the list of things she said are not possible criminal acts?"

No. I'm saying she should have come straight at the question and listed crimes and the actions that fit or potentially fit within those crimes and thereby justified using the shorthand "Obamagate."


For starters, of the top of my head...

18 U.S. Code § 241. Conspiracy against rights

18 U.S. Code § 798. Disclosure of classified information

50 U.S. Code § 1809. Criminal sanctions

(a)Prohibited activities. A person is guilty of an offense if he intentionally—

(1) engages in electronic surveillance under color of law except as authorized by this chapter, chapter 119, 121, or 206 of title 18, or any express statutory authorization that is an additional exclusive means for conducting electronic surveillance under section 1812 of this title;

(2) discloses or uses information obtained under color of law by electronic surveillance, knowing or having reason to know that the information was obtained through electronic surveillance not authorized by this chapter, chapter 119, 121, or 206 of title 18, or any express statutory authorization that is an additional exclusive means for conducting electronic surveillance under section 1812 of this title.

(b)Defense
It is a defense to a prosecution under subsection (a) that the defendant was a law enforcement or investigative officer engaged in the course of his official duties and the electronic surveillance was authorized by and conducted pursuant to a search warrant or court order of a court of competent jurisdiction.

(c)Penalties
An offense described in this section is punishable by a fine of not more than $10,000 or imprisonment for not more than five years, or both.

(d)Federal jurisdiction
There is Federal jurisdiction over an offense under this section if the person committing the offense was an officer or employee of the United States at the time the offense was committed.

Bilwick said...

Considering that the people Ms. McEnany most ticks off ar the Worst and Stupidest People Ever--i.e., the "liberal" Hive--she's got to be doing something right.

Big Mike said...

Ann, you are treating her like a student in one of your courses. She's not seeking a grade from you. She has a different agenda.

@Brian, +1

Brian said...

*that*'s what Trump meant by "the crime is very obvious to everybody."

You're getting there... You're imagining it in your mind now. "What things could they be talking about?" Can't be this, can't be that.

It's like a movie. Either the writers will pay off in the end or they won't.

#Obamagate is Checkov's gun.







Iman said...

A clarifying read... https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2020/05/the_emotheremsecrets_inside_grenells_satchel_are_the_key_to_the_biggest_political_scandal_in_us_history.html

Gahrie said...

"Right wing guys love it when MILFs do the talking for them. See, e.g., Coulter, Malkin. Not sure why."

Ha ha. Right. Sort of. I mean, I wouldn't call Coulter a MILF (even aside from my non-inclusion in the "I" of MILF). Coulter has never had children. I looked it up at Wikipedia:


Wow. I found this to be an incredibly sexist remark. Althouse finds it amusing. I wonder what that says about either of us?

Browndog said...

I agree with Althouse.

I don't see a "slay queen", and cannot understand the adoration by the MAGA crowd.

That said, the focus shouldn't be one her, but the idiots she's talking too; pretending not to know anything.

David in Cal said...

I did like her gentle sarcasm of pretending to take the question seriously. She knew that the questioner had no interest in her answer. He was just regurgitating the day's talking point.

Michael said...

Remember when White House Correspondent was the #2 prestige journo job, right behind network anchor? Today, though, these reporters are little more than trained seals at Sea World. Once a day the show commences and they bark and bark and bark looking for someone to toss them a fish. People in the audience love the show even though they know it in no way represents life in the wild.

Kayliegh is just the hot, sexy ringmaster.

Ken B said...

Althouse is looking for theater, because Ed Driscoll promised her theater.She wants Clarence Darrow shredding William Jennings Bryan on the stand. She wants Emile Zola writing “J'accuse!”. What she got was what appears to be an entirely factual response that listed both certain and potential crimes.

Moral: ignore Ed “clickbait” Driscoll. I said yesterday PJM had become a sump; he is part of the reason why I say that.

But also — don’t minimize her factual response. She isn’t Joseph Welch crushing McCarthy, but she's right.

Jersey Fled said...

The crime is clear in the same sense that it was clear three years ago that Russia-gate was a hoax.

Obama used the intelligence community and FBI to spy on his political opponents (I expect that the list included others besides Trump), to impair the transition, and to remove Trump from office.

Ellis Sea said...

The "right-wingers" are saying "Here's another Press Secretary, doing that Press Secretary thing, but doing it exceptionally well." I think you, Ann, are missing the point.

wendybar said...

mandrewa said...
I watch the first 20 seconds and I get angry.

Get a Nerf gun. It helps!!!

Michael K said...

She seemed to deflecting the question and pettifogging, and she had every reason to be precisely prepared after Trump was faced with the same question the other day and he had to bullshit:

The Hillary voter surfaces.

Shouting Thomas said...

“Journalists” who haven’t taken it upon themselves to rigorously pursue Obama’s subversion of the FBI to spy on and attack political opponents and to cripple his successor.

They aren’t really journalists, which isn’t exactly news.

Sebastian said...

I think we have a case here of Althouse taking Trump and McEnany literally but not seriously. They should spell out the crimes! They are not being specific! It's not right for the right to cheer!

Of course, the right takes them seriously but not literally: finally people who fight back, who do not let the MSM frame the issues, who at least try to play a real political game. We all know the Crime; anyone who says otherwise is not being honest.

But Trump and McEnany should listen to Althouse: a few sops to the Althouses of America will earn them more support. See, we're being responsible! We're just like good law students! We can pass your exam!

It's a better job for Barr, though.

Sebastian said...

Scott Johnson vs. Althouse: "the crimes involved in an administration’s illegal spying on the opposition party’s presidential candidate party and unprecedented undermining of the peaceful transfer of power following the election"

Watergate didn't lead to Nixon's downfall because he committed a crime but because he turned it into a Crime. Same with Obamagate: Obama and his minions weaponized the government against their opponents for partisan purposes. They let Hill get away with crimes, they went hard at Page and Flynn on no basis whatsoever, they lied in court repeatedly, they leaked to the press, and they abused the unmasking process. At least some parts of the Crime involved actual crimes.

Of course, we know, as Susan Rice told us in that very curious last-minute email for there record, that Obama wanted everything done "by the book." If only to reassure sensitive former law profs that no crimes could possibly have been committed.

Shouting Thomas said...

What was the specific crime alleged against President Trump in the Russia collusion hoax?

What was the specific crime alleged against Trump in impeachment?

The fake news media expended enormous energy over years pursuing that shit.

Darkisland said...

Carlos Sweda had an interesting take on Senator Burr the other day. Burr's home was "raided" his phone was "confiscated" and he was interrogated on the almost impossible to prove charge of insider trading.

But Burr was chair of the senate intelligence committee. Carlos speculated that the real intent was not the trading but nefarious intelligence shenanigans.

Feinstein's husband's records were "requested" and he was "interviewed" by fbi on similar charges.

Remember how difi had a Chinese intelligence agent as her driver for 30 years? Perhaps this will be looked into.

This reminds me also of a dozen or so university professors who have been arrested, some tried, convicted an in receipt of multi-decade prison terms. All for illegal ties and passing materials to Chinese intelligence.

Most in the past 6 months.

John Henry

bagoh20 said...

On the Right, we don't get as excited about anything as much as a woman who is able to be tough, capable, AND feminine, becuase we also admire the feminine, while the left sees it as a defect. We really like that kind of warrior. The adulation is just team spirit. Pretty standard, but based a lot more on actual performance than when it happens on the left. I mean the Right isn't giving her a Noble prize or getting thrills up their leg just because she exists. She's not a high school kid that we're asking for advice in epidemiology or global climate.

Cruel neutrality often just equals apathy. There is nothing to get concerned about unless it's told to us by some "experts" with a model that wildly over-states the problem. Her answer could have been more specific, or she could have gone with hyperbole but she's not presenting a case in front of the Supreme Court here. She's speaking for the President and that message was clear: the press needs to do it's job and expose the crimes. That's not her job. She made that abundantly clear. That's exactly on task. I had no problem getting that.

AllenS said...

Tags: cruel reasoning

Quayle said...

How about Fraud upon the Court - the FISA Court.

Making the decisions of the FISA court a nullify - void. Making the resulting wiretaps illegal.

Barry Dauphin said...

Warrantless surveillance, multiple illegal leaks of classified information, a false statements charge constructed on the razor’s edge of Miranda, and the use of never-produced, secret counterintelligence evidence in a domestic criminal proceeding – this is the “rule of law” we’re being asked to cheer.

Perhaps Trump will hire Matt Taibi as his next Press Secretary.

WK said...

Information will slowly drip out. Over a long time and people will generally lose interest. Reporting will not be detailed or in depth. Nothing will happen. When was the last time anyone in the government was held accountable for anything.......

rcocean said...

Spelling out Obama's crime gets Trump nowhere. The Press would just use his detailed answer as a target. I thought she gave an excellent answer, but the previous Secretary - Huckabee's Daughter was good too. Someone said this is "political theater". Well, blame the Mainstream Media. They're the ones that have turned it into "The press attacks Trump show".

The WH Press Corps isn't trying to get information, they're playing Gotcha and make Trump administration look bad. If the Obama Administration committed a crime, than Barr will indict. As expected, Miss Lindsey and Republican Senators aren't going to lift a finger to investigate or do anything to help Trump. I noticed Burr just published the last volume of his worthless Russia-Trump 2016 election report - and no one cares.

Lurker21 said...

McEnany isn't a lawyer, and neither is Trump. Would a lawyer really publicly venture an opinion at this stage about what was indictable? Can you expect laypeople to be more informed and accurate about the case now than Robert Mueller was after years of investigating? Do you really want McEnany to go Adam Schiffy and make claims that can't be backed up later?

I understand that the reporter thinks he's digging for a story, but the "story" he seems to be digging for is "White House Press Secretary Makes Outrageous Claim - Here's Why It's Not True." McEnany wasn't wrong to expect reporter guy to take the story more seriously and do some actual investigating.

iowan2 said...

Wanting specifics is a grand goal. But why now? Specifics have never been required when President Trump is the target.

I asked for months for a single specific that could warrant a counter intelligence investigation launched by the FBI, June of 2016 I never got an answer. Any attempt could easily be shut down by known fact.

This has always been a massive domestic spying operation, coordinated from the Oval Office. I don't know what federal statute applies. Need some help. Surely abusing American 4th amendment rights is crime, yes?

Mark said...

Those praising her are thinking with their dicks. Full stop.

No further explanation needed. Like with 16 year old boys, the girl they have a crush on is brilliant and can do no wrong.

Every press secretary gets stale and tossed under the bus. Within a year these same men enthralled by her answer will be curb stomping her with the rest.

Darkisland said...

OT but difi's driver reminded me of a story from wwii

The Japanese embassy in DC had a very highly classified map room. They had an elderly black man as a janitor. He was mentally deficient to the point where he hardly knew which end of the broom was which.

The Japanese kept him around for comic relief more than for cleani g.

In reality he was a pretty sharp cookie and worked for the fbi (or some intelligence agency)

I think he may also ha e spoken Japanese.

Anything the embassy knew we knew the next day.

John Henry

rcocean said...

Its weird that educated people are using a phrase like: "Mothers I'd like to Fuck". Why not "Old cunts I'd like to Fuck"?

Howard said...

Reticent. That's the first word that pops up when thinking about Trump.

Mr. D said...

Press Secretary in any modern administration is a praetorian guard position. I don't get the adulation, either. She doesn't seem like an improvement over any of her predecessors going back to maybe Tony Snow.

Francisco D said...

Ann Althouse said... I'm saying she should have come straight at the question and listed crimes and the actions that fit or potentially fit within those crimes and thereby justified using the shorthand "Obamagate."

Did you mean the way the Democrat/Media criminal accusations against Trump (the Russian asset) and Kavanaugh (the teenaged rapist) were clearly specified and detailed?

That's the ticket.

Andrew said...

@Ann,

I think you just demonstrated what Trump and McEnany are trying to do.

First you say this: "That's just plainly wrong. The crime is not very obvious to everybody. I don't know what it is."

So you're wondering about it, and asking about it. The possibility of a crime has been accepted, but it's a mystery.

Then you say: "Now, it's possible that what Obamagate means is that there was a conspiracy to commit treason (the "coup attempt") and *that*'s what Trump meant by 'the crime is very obvious to everybody.'"

And that's it. You yourself have come to the conclusion. Many others are doing the same. If McEnany simply said that it was treason, it would not have the same impact.

I do think Trump has used the word "treason" in his tweets and comments on occasion, but the non-committal style by McEnany is still very effective. The whole country is wondering what "Obamagate" refers to. Which means they're paying attention, and even learning new information.

Iconochasm said...

I can't stand political video, but I read the transcript. It was unimpressive. Not particularly bad by the standards of political speakers, but far from what the headlines were selling.

Sad.

Francisco D said...

Blogger Lurker21 said...McEnany isn't a lawyer

I wonder what she was doing at Harvard Law School.

Lazarus said...

Washington now is an all or nothing world. One might have watched Jay Carney furiously spinning and deflecting and misdirecting and resisted calling what he did lying, but then Sarah Sanders does the same thing and is accused of lying, so relations between government and the press become that much more polarized and rigidified and that much more of a zero sum game.

Dinesh D'Souza dated both Laura Ingraham and Ann Coulter? That seems comment-worthy in so many ways, but I'm not going to touch it.

Jason said...

She specifically mentioned several cases of Obama officials committing perjury/making false statements.

Seems pretty clear to me.

Or are those only crimes if Flynn does them?

Because if you want to argue materiality, Clapper's/McCabes, et. al.'s false statements were a hell of a lot more material to the Congressional investigation than anything Flynn is alleged to have said to the FBI's investigation.

MartyH said...

Here’s the problem with trying to explain Obamacare: if your explanation starts at the top-the White House coordinated illegal spying and essentially a coup attempt against the Trump administration using leaks to the press, FISA abuse, and House investigations as weapons- you’ll be labeled as crazy by the press.

If you start at the bottom, as she did, there are too many disparate elements to explain in soundbites.

David Begley said...

What happened was as President of the US, Barack Obama, conspired with the DNC and Hillary and the Press, to use the FBI and CIA to spy on the Trump campaign and defeat him.

When Hillary lost, the plan was to remove Trump via impeachment with the Russia hoax.

Lots of crimes there.

#Obamagate

cacimbo said...

She listed lying to Congress which might be perjury and leaking. Both crimes are the equal of what those caught up in the Russian hoax have been charged with. So if media was unbiased wouldn't this be front page news worthy of hours of coverage just like the Russia investigation was given. I am confused by right leaning media making a big deal of the unmasking. Do I think it was an abuse of power - yes. But is that a chargeable crime?

chickelit said...

... and I thought it was clumsy and nonresponsive. I felt a little embarrassed for her. Later, looking at social media, I saw her extolled by people who, I think, are expressing their real enthusiasm.

And I feel embarassed for you, Althouse. Occasionally you show your true colors and this is certainly one of those occasions.

"The Hillary voter surfaces" indeed. I add that girlish jealousy has surfaced as well.

Otto said...

As i have said many times before, never underestimate Trump. Dem elites are so into style that they base a persons smarts on his elocution. He is a lot smarter and cunning than you think. It's obvious that he is starting to control the narrative.
Ann tried in the beginning to steer this post as false adulation but what was really bugging her was Trump spouting off about obamagate. She is pissed that he gets away with it without stating any crimes. Was she pissed when for 3 years we were told there was collusion between Russia and Trump without any crime? The hunters are being hunted.

Martha said...

People are reticent about accusing someone of treason?

Not Judge Emmet G. Sullivan!

Sullivan asked prosecutors from the office of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III whether Flynn, a career public servant and retired Army lieutenant general, could be charged with “treason.” For allegedly lying to corrupt FBI agents.

Sebastian said...

Gahrie: "Wow. I found this to be an incredibly sexist remark. Althouse finds it amusing."

You are not assuming that people, including feminists, believe what they profess to believe, do you?

wendybar said...

Obama worshipers will NEVER think the almighty is guilty of anything, so Trump is evil is the only story they are interested in.

Martha said...

Kayleigh McEnany is indeed a layer—Harvard JD.

hombre said...

Clumsy and non-responsive, Professor? I don’t think so. Several of the activities she mentioned could easily give rise to criminal charges, even in DC. Lying to obtain FISA warrants, leaks of confidential material, unmasking for political purposes to name a few.

I am not given to idolatry and I thought her answers were prompt, articulate and accurate. Lots of instances of illegal disclosures, perjury, lying to judges and conspiracy to interfere the civil rights of Flynn and the President. A good start would be 18 USC Sec. 1985(1). Perhaps you need to brush up on federal criminal law.

Regardless, it is silly to believe that her role is to answer “questions” the mediaswine don’t want answered. Her job is to say what they won’t say. She’s doing just fine.

bagoh20 said...

I think the problem is that for some her being attractive is a bad or suspicious thing that raises the bar for her. It irritates some people and it's, a bonus for others. I prefer all people I watch on TV be attractive. I don't hold it against her.

Michael K said...

McEnany isn't a lawyer, and neither is Trump.

I thionk she is and thank God he is not.

bagoh20 said...

If you want to see women turn on another woman, say she's really hot. It works instantly and 100% of the time. They cannot not have a good opinion of her without at least a lot of qualifiers.

John henry said...

People here and elsewhere keep talking about "treason". It's defined in the constitution as levying war against the various states. Or the United States as an entity.

I doubt anyone is talking about that.

Also adhering to our "enemies " so who is the enemy here? In a legal sense. I don't see one.

"Aid and comfort" if there is no enemy this is moot. But say there is one, what is the aid and comfort alleged to be given.

As odious and apparently illegal as all this behavior seems to be, how does it rise to "treason" in any legal sense.?
giving


From the US Code, codifying the definition in the constitution


Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason 

Mr. D said...

Lurker21 said...
McEnany isn't a lawyer, and neither is Trump.


McEnany graduated from Harvard Law in 2016.

Owen said...

Lurker21@9:25: "...she's not a lawyer." In fact she is. Started at Miami and transferred to Harvard Law, graduated 2016.

At least, that's what Wiki says.

She's the whole package.

OldManRick said...

I seem to remember that she noted several Obama appointees who lied under oath to congress. Based on the reactions here, I guess I'm going to have to assume that that's not a crime if you are an Obama democrat.

David Begley said...

It is crystal clear to me what Obamagate is. What is shocking - and I do mean shocking - is that 70% of the American public doesn’t see it.

Also shocking is how the Press refuses to report on it and covers up for the Dems.

When Comey, McCabe, Brennan et alia go to jail, it will finally be obvious to the whole world that Obama was the most corrupt President in US history.

hombre said...

Althouse: ‘No. I'm saying she should have come straight at the question and listed crimes and the actions that fit or potentially fit within those crimes and thereby justified using the shorthand "Obamagate."’

That’s just ridiculous! She’s a flack, not an Assistant AG. She laid out a lot of the conduct. If she had tied the conduct to statutes, the next question: “Are you a lawyer?”

William said...

I don't think the press and the late night comedians have worked out an effective angle of attack yet. She's good looking and smart and doesn't have any apparent vulnerability on those scores. Also she's a breast cancer survivor. That gives her some amount of plot armor. The next time someone in the press asks her a hostile question, she should point out that this is the kind of treatment that double mastectomy cancer survivors are routinely subjected to. She should ask the reporter if he only asks such questions to cancer survivors.

Mark said...

I'm seeing a lot of adulation of Kayleigh McEnany coming from the right...

Really?

Because I've not heard or read ANYONE on the right saying ANYTHING about her.

Pillage Idiot said...

I do not understand Althouse's incredulity that McEnany did not list specific crimes and perps. Ms. Althouse, put your lawyer hat back on.

What happens if the spokesman of the executive starts listing specific crimes and criminals prior to the DOJ completing its investigation? That would clearly be attempting undue influence into an ongoing criminal investigation.

It would almost certainly help the accused argue their prosecution was purely political and hurt the chances of getting convictions.

Ken B said...

What, early on, would you have called the crime of Watergate? Initially the known crime was a break in. So if someone had said, so far the crime is a break in but there is clearly more going on,would you have criticized that?

Michael said...

This clip, meh. The real action was few days back when Mr Male Pattern Baldness reporter tried a gotcha question about Trump's past statements. Kayleigh brutaly depantsed the boy.

Rogan had best take on that one: https://m.youtube.com/watchv=ua387d0zhkw

Ann Althouse said...

""No. I'm saying she should have come straight at the question and listed crimes and the actions that fit or potentially fit within those crimes and thereby justified using the shorthand "Obamagate.""/"For starters, of the top of my head..."

If you find it easy to do, that underscores HER failure to do it. She's avoiding responsibility for naming any criminal statutes, even as she stands on a platform of power and accuses citizens of criminal violations. The avoidance counts against her. Let her commit to some charges and point at the statutes. Why won't she? If you can to it... and have you done the work of studying the case law and seeing what these words are properly applied to? She's a Harvard Law School grad, and I assume she and those who help her prep are aware that you could be getting the specifics wrong and that's a reason to finesse whenever you can. I use the same strategy writing this blog and avoid saying things I don't know and use my expertise to be cagey about what I can say and what would take a lot more work to be able to say, but I also don't make accusations like this "Obamagate!" thing.

Iman said...

Althouse out of the loop? She doesn't receive the Democrat Talking Points?

Baby steps...

Kevin said...

The press once told us “collusion” was a crime.

As was “quid pro quo”.

When told they were not actual crimes they responded they were actually “behind the pale” and “ worse than treason”, uber crimes that superseded the statutes.

With Obama they can’t find any crimes at all.

And if you do they want chapter and subsection.

Iman said...

0bamapalooza is a better description. It's political clusterfuck theater.

roesch/voltaire said...

Oh those questions are so important sort of like was Obama born in Kenya? Here we go again.

Quayle said...

“ She's avoiding responsibility for naming any criminal statutes, even as she stands on a platform of power and accuses citizens of criminal violations.”

She is operating in the court of public opinion. In that court the objective and means are different.

Gahrie said...

I seem to remember that she noted several Obama appointees who lied under oath to congress. Based on the reactions here, I guess I'm going to have to assume that that's not a crime if you are an Obama democrat.

Oh, You can't blame that one on Obama. That "get out of jail free" card has been working since at least Anita Hill.

traditionalguy said...

She gave the answer in her first statement that Obamagate Crime was a question that needed to be asked. That is the method of the Q guys. Make them think for themselves about a question. It is persuasion 101. And it is how trial lawyers win jury verdicts. Telling people what to think about evidence raises a resistance that asking Jurors what they think about it humbly does not.

Brian said...

The avoidance counts against her. Let her commit to some charges and point at the statutes. Why won't she?

Why should she? Where is that in the requirements?

You want her to give details because you don't believe it's true.

This reminds me of the arguments a lot of us had with Chuck back in the "Obama had my wires tapped" season of the Presidential TV show. Chuck wanted specific examples of how Obama did wiretaps on Trump's phones!

We now know over 3 years later that they were indeed listening in on campaign conversations. We have specific details. Documents that detail FISA warrants against campaign aides. FISC court judges talking about fraudulent warrant applications.

We'll know more about Obama's involvement. The goal for Trump right now is to simply prepare the mind for it. Your concern for her lack of details shows that it's working.

mtrobertslaw said...

Suppose a law professor, during a class lecture, talked about crimes she described in general that were committed by a progressive administration. A student then complains that she spoke in generalities and that if she wants to be taken seriously, she must identify each "crime" with the precision of a criminal complaint. And if she cannot do that, she is "pettifogging." A fair critique?

bagoh20 said...

If only Adam Shift was an attractive woman. We could have demanded a lot more details from him.

Tom said...

I want her to do well with questions like this and I think she did do well in this case.

Frankly, I’d like it more if the DOJ was doing its job and thoroughly investigating all of the criminal actions noted in this briefing.

More and more, it looks like rather than obstructing justice, the president obstructed a coup.

daskol said...

I didn't realize until this thread just how effective she'd been in her response. She manages to get the thoughtful people to try to imagine what may comprise Obamagate, and she avoids naming crimes that, at this point, would add up to small potatoes and most of all would allow the press to dismiss them as not amounting to much on their own. What's been established as obviously criminal so far may not amount to more than some leaks and some bad FISA submissions. But the shape of it all is becoming more and more obvious, even to people who think Obama was a lovely man. He was not, but as long as lots of people think so, let it drip drip drip.

cronus titan said...

McCaneny's goal is to disclose the issues and pressure (shame?) the MSM to cover the story, not take a law school exam to impress faculty. The Socratic method does not apply. As others have pointed out, there is a lot of chatter now about Obamagate. It remains a political, not legal, issue until DoJ decides whether to indict anyone. Quite effective.

Interestingly, in Sullivan's order, he charges Flynn with contempt based upon perjury. He never says what the perjury is. We assume it is for withdrawing his guilty plea but that is only an educated guess. Flynn submitted an affidavit explaining why he believes his plea was wrongly entered. Is the purported perjury the affidavit? Authorizing his lawyers to file something the judge now believes was wrong? Denying he was a traitor? What is it? I don't recall Althouse criticizing that. Surely, cruel neutrality compels similar obligations.

Aggie said...

That's funny, I thought it was the job of a prosecutor to name charges when they file indictments, after they've built a case. But they do it at press briefings too?

Well noted by #Kevin, the foo-for-ah when the discussion was about 'whistleblower' and 'collusion' and 'quid-pro-quo' all these were accepted as 'legal tender' charges back then, eh? Does seem like a bit of a sliding scale being applied here.

Also noted, yes her replies are a bit stumbling, she seems a little young and nervous and consults her notes too much, she would make her delivery consummately pro if she were able to relay her material with confidence and to fix a steely stare on her victim while she works the knife.

I've seen a few snarky, catty comments from the Lady Media about the perfection of her hair and makeup in this age of social distancing, glad they are not repeated here.

David Begley said...

Ann:

As a former law clerk to a federal judge, you know that the criminal indictments that Durham will be filing will list all of the crimes. Durham will do his job.

wildswan said...

I know the reporter asked "What is the charge and where is the evidence relating to the elements of that crime?" but would it have been right for the Press Secretary to spell out a definite charge? Wouldn't that have been grounds for dismissal of the case? Wasn't this question a trap McEnany evaded?

I think both Trump and are making parallels between Watergate and Obamagate. Today they are pointing out how reporters behaved in the two cases. In Watergate reporters busily investigated an abuse of power; in Obamagate they are refusing to investigate anything. Reporters pride themselves in being like Woodward and Bernstein (Watergate) but they aren't ashamed of not exposing the lies about General Flynn (Obamagate), in fact they awarded the Pulitzer to those who uncritically passed on those lies. That the point that Trump and McEnany are making about the White House press corps and the Wapoopers and other well paid media hacks.

Look at work done by others.

Conservative Treehouse Sundance has a story today analyzing testimony that shows that the FBI briefed the White House on Flynn using an FBI 302, the original 302 which which the FBI now claims is lost. Then later the Two Lovers rewrote the 302 so that it supported the earlier briefing which said that Flynn had lied to Pence and the FBI had proof. The FBI did not have proof in January. But in February after the Two Lovers rewrote the 302 the FBI had "proof."

There are two 302s - the Original 302 and the Two Lovers 302.

Now that's what Conservative Treehouse Sundance did. In all this and in what followed there are crimes large and small: changing 302s is one, ruining General Flynn with a lie from the FBI is another, creating difficulties for an incoming elected President is another, lying about the changed 302 on the news for years and years, participating an an attempted coup is another. In the end much rested on the altered 302. In other words a small crime, (changing a 302) about on the level of a third rate burglary became part of a sequence that made that alteration more and more significant and more and more criminal as it was part of a larger and larger conspiracy as time went on.

But what have White House reporters done which is in anyway similar to the digging, analyzing and collating that went into this story by Conservative Treehouse Sundance wit all its implications? And there are other stories by Kimberley Strassel and Catherine Herridge and Devin Nunes; but, again, nothing by any White House reporters or Wapoopers in any way similar to the work done by these outside reporters and Congressmen. As McEnany said. But she encouraged them to try to be reporters, not the cowardly hacks they prefer being.

How I see it.

Ray - SoCal said...

Agree,

My guess is Barr has asked the WH to be careful on what they say.

Blogger Pillage Idiot said...
I do not understand Althouse's incredulity that McEnany did not list specific crimes and perps. Ms. Althouse, put your lawyer hat back on.

What happens if the spokesman of the executive starts listing specific crimes and criminals prior to the DOJ completing its investigation? That

Wince said...

Politically damaging video of Biden from 2005 on last night's Tucker Carlson...

Joe Biden used to be very concerned about 'unmasking'

Then-Sen. Joe Biden slammed John Bolton for 'unmasking' in 2005; reaction from former federal prosecutor Francey Hakes.

Unknown said...

“ But that's not what these right-wingers are doing. They're saying all hail the queen! This post is about the adulation.”

I await the professor for cruel neutrality identifying when “these left-wingers” are doing something.

Ann Althouse said...

"She is operating in the court of public opinion. In that court the objective and means are different."

I'm a member of the public, and in that position, I vote guilty. Don't know if I'm in the majority, but she had a chance to win my vote and didn't, so in my view, she failed in the court of public opinion.

Ann Althouse said...

I am judging it politically, even though some of you assert that I'm looking at it like a law professor grading an exam. Not so. You'd have to pay me $1,000 an hour to grade exams. More, actually. This blog is emphatically not me grading exams.

Drago said...

roesch/voltaire: "Oh those questions are so important sort of like was Obama born in Kenya? Here we go again."

This is the current dem/lefty/LLR-lefty/media position: Click your heels 3 times and whisper..There's no time like January of 2017..There's no time like January of 2017..There's no time like January of 2017...

...as if the information, documentation and under oath testimony transcripts from obamas/Hillarys/DNC's own people that we have received over the last 3 years doesnt exist at all.

That just might work on Althouse who found the answer - Wipe it, like with a cloth? - sufficient in 2016.

HistoryDoc said...

AA at 9:08 - Bingo! You nalied it. This is part of Trump's genius. I know you don't see it as "genius", but he has a very effective way of pushing his narrative without falling into every trap that republicans classically fall into. You are struglling to divine what he is referring to, but it is really quite clear, and he is making the point without stepping over the line that would get him pilloried by the press.

Lurker21 said...


Okay, she's a lawyer. I should have assumed that everybody in Washington is a lawyer.

But even a lawyer isn't going to venture an opinion on what crimes may have been committed before an investigation has happened.

Drago said...

Althouse: "I'm a member of the public, and in that position, I vote guilty."

And yet Hillary's decades of transparent lies and corruption had you voting "Innocent Enough For Me!".

I think we might be in an Althouse Babylon Bee-like analysis zone where anything related to Obamagate emanating from the non-dem side simply wont make the Althouse cut and will not garner Althouse acceptance.

chickelit said...

I was actually cheered to read that The Economist was laying off staff. They switched over to fake news regarding their American coverage years ago. More please. They will not be missed and there are plenty of other news sources coming online.

Char Char Binks said...

It was better than the one a few days ago about Wuhan in which she supposedly DESTROYED with FACTS and LOGIC.

In fact, she used the same style both times of laying out the POTUS case item by item. Not every answer to a dishonest and hostile media has to be a zinger. We deserve more nuance than one-liners alone can deliver.

Char Char Binks said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
daskol said...

Obamagate begins to take shape with the Admiral Rogers testimony before Congress of the rampant abuse of 702 privileges throughout Obama's NSC, including employees and contractors for the NSC, CIA, FBI, etc. using that database in ways more extensive and for purposes directly contradictory to the intent of the data collection and access. Watch the testimony. Know that Rogers visited Trump to inform him of what he saw. The Grennel revelations are the beginning of the documentation of these abuses. To say that Trump's press spokesperson should lay out the crimes because a hostile reporter put a question to her is to miss the point: getting this information out there has been a war, intelligence and legal war. For the first time in a long time, it's clear which side is winning.

Wince said...

Ann Althouse said...
If you find it easy to do, that underscores HER failure to do it.

As stated above, there are legal, politcal and media elements to someone inside the Trump administration listing specific charges.

That said, for pure messaging purposes, it may have been more effective to summarize the legal remedies, generally, rather than try to list specific acts that may give rise to unspecified charges.

So, in her position, I would not go beyond saying "all available remedies for illegal surveillance, disclosure of classified information, false statements and violations of civil rights".

n.n said...

Water Closet is inclusive of Obama spied, Biden obstructed, Clinton lied, Democrats hunted witches and judged warlocks, and JournoLists prosecuted a multitrimester cover-up of foreign conspiracy, redistributive change, social justice adventures (e.g. wars) without borders, and rabid diversity. #HateLovesAbortion

cronus titan said...

Hmm. The criticism was that a reporter asked her to identify the specific crimes of Obamagate, and Althouse felt McEnany failed because she did not identify the specific statute(s), and used the word non-responsive. Classic law school perspective. Politically, the Obamagate facts are still emerging. It is on message to show that this is bad news for Democrats (who seem to find nothing wrong with turning the spy state on US citizens) and may be bad legal news for specific persons.

N.B. If you really get paid $1,000 or more to grade an exam, it partially explains the insane costs of education.

bagoh20 said...

One of the most important political goals of the President and anyone working for him is and should be to both discredit the fake news and shame them into doing their job. That was the thrust of her presentation. If she gave specific crimes, their entire emphasis for the next month would be to disprove and minimize them, which they would do through the political equivalent of expert witnesses - paid or biased dissemblers. She avoided that, and now the facts can come out slow and steady, each day slowly convincing people things were not right in the swamp. Nobody on Trump's team should want this to be a quick fight won by shear numbers. The lying press and politicians far outnumber the investigators pulling together the facts. Those facts are going to tell a story, and if you give away the ending, nobody wants to read it.

tomaig said...

For a law professor, you seem curiously incurious about Obamagate.
Online, I often ask Trump-hating leftists
engaged in a similar tactic if they're being disingenuous or are they just plain dumb.
I have been reading you for years, so I know you are certainly not *dumb*

Sebastian said...

wildswan: "I think both Trump and are making parallels between Watergate and Obamagate. Today they are pointing out how reporters behaved in the two cases"

Correct. Althouse falls for MSM propaganda. But she didn't list crimes! She wasn't specific! She should have answered the reporter's questions! It's terrible when a press secretary doesn't answer questions directly! The right is wrong to say she's right!

Meanwhile, Trump and his troops are pushing a different narrative: 1. the governmental attack on his campaign, the transition, and the administration are outrageous abuses that constitute "Obamagate"; 2. the MSM eagerly went after Nixon for his abuses, they are not going eagerly after Obama & Co. for their abuses.

So, Althouse, after you are done cruelly neutrally opposing the right on supporting the OK job done by McEnany, let's turn to substance. Do you think: 1. the O administration abused government powers in their pursuit of the Trump campaign and transition, and setting up further attacks on the Trump administration once in office? 2. the MSM investigate the abuses of the O administration and its officials with adequate vigor, commensurate with the seriousness of the abuses revealed thus far? 3. based on the evidence in documents made available thus far, any O officials committed crimes, in the way you, a law professor! an expert on federal law!, understand relevant criminal statutes?

Char Char Binks said...

Maybe instead of using the “gate” suffix for any new scandal we should use “dome”. Obamadome has a nice ring to it, Russiadome conjures images of minarets, and Spydome could be the next Bond movie.

I never understood the Teapot Dome scandal, but I love Mad Max!

tomaig said...

For someone who taught the law, you seem curiously incurious about Obamagate.
Disingenuousness ill-suits you.

RV Martinez said...

I am a reader of your website, with a high opinion of your observations. So I agree that McEnany’s response when she was asked “What is the element of this crime… what crime was committed and in what way” was “clumsy and" and appeared to be" non-responsive”.
But since you addressed the matter, you owe to your readers that your input must not be like hers: “clumsy and non-responsive”, but lamentably it was.
You should have discerned that among McEnany’s clumsiness, which is not a crime, was a satisfactory reply and this should have been mentioned by you: McEnany’s clumsy reference to the Dossier used to get a FISA warrant involved the alteration of a CIA message by the FBI… this was a crime.
Unmasking Flynn was not a crime, but revealing the contents of a classified conversation with the Russian Ambassador to Mr. Ignatius of the WP is a crime – a 10 year felony…
There are several federal laws prohibiting the leaking of classified information. Don’t let the fog of war blind you and you appear to have let us down by giving us an incomplete and clumsy response.

Inga said...

“The crime is clear in the same sense that it was clear three years ago that Russia-gate was a hoax.”

Which is clear as mud.

RV Martinez said...

I am not talking about what McEnany said or defending her. My point is that Ms. Althouse should have provided us with more illuminating response.

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

“I’d guess the evaluations of her would be less effusive if she looked like Bella Abzug.”

Sure, and why not? If you want to communicate have your communicator be someone that holds the listener’s attention. If I was President my Press Secretary would be the redhead from Mad Men.

She did her job. She linked the thoughts “Obama” and “crime”. Baby steps.

Big Mike said...

As a former law clerk to a federal judge, you know that the criminal indictments that Durham will be filing will list all of the crimes. Durham will do his job.

@David Begley, I hope so, but increasingly I don't think so.

Char Char Binks said...

Igna, how many fingers am I holding up?

Hint: I needn’t have used the plural form.

daskol said...

I do not think that it's a coincidence that the fence-sitting, swamp dwelling, momentum killing, former Intelligence Committee leading Senator Burr is seeing his house "raided" nor do I think that it's exclusively or even mostly about the "insider trading" selling of stock before Chinavirus killed the markets. But then, I'm starting to believe more and more that without conspiracy theories, there is no adequate explanation for the behavior of our government these last several years. There were a lot of conspiring scheming motherfuckers around, and the only way to beat them is to have a bunch scheming conspiring motherfuckers on your side.

Inga said...

“McCaneny's goal is to disclose the issues and pressure (shame?) the MSM to cover the story, not take a law school exam to impress faculty. The Socratic method does not apply. As others have pointed out, there is a lot of chatter now about Obamagate. It remains a political, not legal, issue until DoJ decides whether to indict anyone. Quite effective.”

The MSM won’t seriously cover the story because the story is bogus. Everyone except Trumpists already know this. Neither she nor Trump can clearly articulate the crimes, because there aren’t any crimes. The DOJ won’t indict, unless they are all as corrupt as Barr.

Night Owl said...

Saw both videos of Trump and the spokeswoman and also thought they didn't answer the question.

Thought it over and concluded that they didn't want to give the DNC controlled press the opportunity to try the case on the media talks show, with their "legal experts" acting as judge and jury using their spin to pronounce those charged innocent of the charges.

Forewarned is forearmed. Better to leave them guessing.

Drago said...

Russian Collusion Truther Dead Ender Inga: "Which is clear as mud."

Recall: Inga still believes Trump colluded with Russia, Carter Page is a russian spy, Trump laundered money for russians, the Hoax dossier has never been "disproven", and, my personal favorite Inga-ism:

Christophers Steele's admission in court under oath that nothing in his hoax dossier was verified (NOTHING!) in London in a civil case (where the russian owner sued Steele for libel) didnt count at all because Steeles testimony was provided in deposition form and not by Steele physically walking into the physical court room and testifying!

That. Was. Hilarious.

And still is.

With that kind of "brainpower" (LOL) is it any wonder its all clear as mud to Inga?



pacwest said...

Trump is at war on several fronts right now. Each conflict requires different ammunition. Investigations for his war on the deep state. Economic measures against foreign actors. Lawyers against legal assaults. And the front lines of the war is against the American press. So far Trump has only been able to wage a trench war. He needs to get out of the trenches somehow. Jury is still out on how she is doing on that. I don't hold out much hope on it. The press is dug in.

And let's hope the coming war with China doesn't require live ammo.

Lazarus said...

Some people are natural enthusiasts and they respond to everything in an emotional fashion. That enthusiasm can be contagious or go viral, but it helps if you bear in mind that the enthusiasts aren't representative of a larger group. Some people cheer at everything and attack in a knee-jerk fashion. Others are more restrained.

You can see framing at work here. Is the story what the Trump team allegedly did? Or is it what the Obama administration and the bureaucracy actually did? Or is what the Trump administration is saying now? Or is it the press refusing to cover what the Obama administration did? Or is it what the reporter asked and how he asked it? Or what McEnany said? Or how some enthusiasts reacted to what she said. It's like the Quaker holding the box of oats with a Quaker on it holding a box of oats with a Quaker ...

JaimeRoberto said...

Lots of behavior can be legal but unethical. There may be a few crimes in Obamagate, but a whole lot of unethical behavior.

traditionalguy said...

Could it bet that mcanany is a team player who did her job, but the Professor
Wanted her to be the last of the independents. Be patient while the team wins this.

daskol said...

Hmm...the weaponization of the national security apparatus by the ruling party against its political opposition. Cite the statute. Well, I don't give a rat's ass about the statute, but it doesn't take a lot to perceive a massive criminal conspiracy, one finally deserving of the usually idiotic -gate suffix.

Drago said...

Another of my favorite Inga-isms is how she went all in with the Nunes Memo Is A Lie and the Schiff-ty Memo Is The Truthiest Of Truths.

Of course, at the time anyone with a brain knew Schiff-ty was lying and Nunes was perfectly accurate but now our Inga!

Unfortunately for Team Inga/R/V, we now have the Horowitz report AND the actual transcripts of all 57 "witnesses" (including coup plotters) in their own words validating the Nunes Memo.

There are about a hundred specific and now documented examples just like that one floating around now with more to come.

Ray said...

Unfortunately, because most people involved in Obamagate are government employees, most of the misdeeds are civil, so not really crimes. Many were spied upon without legitimate justification. There were Brady violations, which again were civil. The only real crimes were either lying to Congress, investigators, or FISA Courts. There was also the passing on of classified information. Maybe a RICO charge can be determined, but that's harder to prove. Also, that would be premature to have mentioned here.

Bruce Hayden said...

Did Barack Hussein Obama II commit any crimes himself during the time that he was President? If he did, it was likely on the order of conspiracy. Maybe some civil rights (4th Amdt) violations by viewing the unmasked transcripts of FISA intercepted communications. But his big crime was enabling an environment where the top people in his Administration were allowed, if not encouraged, to use the power of the federal government illegally for advancing partisan goals. Gun running to Mexican cartels was illegal, but never sanctioned. Delaying tax exempt certificatIon by the IRS on the basis of political affiliation was illegal, but never sanctioned. We had Dnesh D’Sousa going to prison for two de minimis counts of campaign finance law violations, while Crooked Hillary was never investigated despite credible and documented allegation of tens of thousands violations (but then, she was allowed to skate on tens of thousands of Espionage and Records Act violations). Of course, with mention of campaign finance violations, Obama himself very likely probably massively violated those laws himself in his two elections.

But probably the biggest law breaking that Obama was at least aware of, and maybe even encouraged was the use of the intelligence capabilities of this country for partisan advantage. This probably started in 2012, when contractors were apparently given carte blanche to the NSA databases through the FBI’s Title VII FISA interface. We don’t know for sure yet who those contractors were, but we do know that the access was massive, illegal, and political, aimed at Republicans. During the last year it was operational, until discovered and shut down by Adm Rogers in spring of 2016, 85% of tens of thousands of FISA 702 queries were being done by these contractors, and they were being used to track political opponents through repeated requests of the same targets with different date ranges. After the Obama Administration was caught in their 702 misuse, they shifted to FISA Title I, very possibly to legally justify their Title VII abuse. This probably involved the CIA setting up several Trump campaign people (Popodopolis, Page, Flynn, etc) through completely fabricated offenses, which were used by the FBI as part of their legal predication for Title I warrants on at least Carter Page. They ten cobbled together their Russian Collusion hoax that at least a number of FBI and DOJ top officials knew to be false, as legal justification for legally attacking Trump and his people that continues to this day.

I will try to give you a dozen federal statutes that were probably violated by someone associated with Obama or in his Administration. But keep this stature in mind. It was mentioned obliquely yesterday by the press secretary: Title 18, U.S.C., Section 242 - Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law. The constitutional rights most violated by all this spying are the 4th Amdt rights she mentioned. Every unmasking, every unpredicated 702 database search, every request by the Mueller investigators for phone records, etc were potential 4th Amdt violations. This wasn’t de minimus. This was massive. Likely tens of thousands of 4th Amdt violations by federal officials under color of law.

Drago said...

Russian Collusion Truther Dead Ender Inga: "The MSM won’t seriously cover the story because the story is bogus. Everyone except Trumpists already know this. Neither she nor Trump can clearly articulate the crimes, because there aren’t any crimes. The DOJ won’t indict, unless they are all as corrupt as Barr."

See what I mean?

It will forever be January 2017 for Inga and she has already pre-announced any indictments against her favorite coup plotters as corrupt....even as all her favorite indictments related to Russia Collusion lies against Trump staffers have been shown, via documents and testimony, to be lies.

Inga said...

“Christophers Steele's admission in court under oath that nothing in his hoax dossier was verified (NOTHING!) in London in a civil case (where the russian owner sued Steele for libel) didnt count at all because Steeles testimony was provided in deposition form and not by Steele physically walking into the physical court room and testifying!

That. Was. Hilarious.

And still is.”

It is. Because you still don’t understand I was repeating back to you what you had asserted. I was mocking YOU.

Drago said...

Meanwhile, there have been many on the left who recognize the danger of the democrats/deep state coup and weaponization of law enforcement and intelligence against an American candidate and President...and they were clear-eyed enough to see it from the start.

Matt Taibbi, Aaron Mate, Glenn Greenwald, Jimmy Dore, some of The Nation writers.

They all know what the dems have done and they see what it portends for the country.

"Democrats Have Abandoned Civil Liberties"
The Blue Party’s Trump-era Embrace of Authoritarianism Isn’t Just Wrong, it’s a Fatal Political Mistake

https://taibbi.substack.com/p/democrats-have-abandoned-civil-liberties

Night Owl said...

As for Kayleigh's performance, it effectively presented a long list of talking-points that hint at multiple crimes w/o pointing to any specific crime. It's persuasive to Trump's audience, which is the average voter, who is not a legal expert.

Otto said...

How many times has AA posited on the Steele dossier in the last 3 years. Does she have a tag, steele dossier?
"I am judging it politically" AA please explain because I thought you were scolding the spokeswomen for not answering the question without specific crimes . Who says politically you have to answer a question, in fact you are rated high on style points if you avoid the question with your answer.
You seem to waffle between politics and legalism.

cronus titan said...

"The MSM won’t seriously cover the story because the story is bogus." Doubtful. Nearly the entire FBI leadership was fired after a series of damning IG reports finding wrongdoing, in specific caes and in general spying on US citizens. The disclosures from the Jensen investigation about Flynn and ODNI about the breadth and depth of spying are not good. Whether they, and others at DoJ, CIA, NSA, etc., are indicted remains to be seen. In three months, the voices screaming "bogus!" may be mocked on an endless loop like those who screamed "collusion!" are mocked now.

As for the MSM, the Wikileaks disclosures showed that more than a few in the MSM were active participants in formulating and executing political strategies with the DNC in 2016. They may have more skin in this than we know.

minnesota farm guy said...

Can you imagine if McEnany had added to the Clapper description chapter and verse of what constitutes perjury: "the crime of willfully and knowingly making a false statement about a material fact while under oath". We have already seen that Clapper clearly gave conflicting testimony to the Senate versus what he was saying in public. Is that perjury? It's certainly lying, but is that always perjury? Had she described what Clapper did as perjury there would have been a firestorm of controversy and a good chance she would have damaged any follow on prosecution by Durham. I thought she did a workman like job of reviewing some of the problematic behavior of members of the Obama administration. Her most important statement was " Don't keep asking me, do your job and investigate yourself!'

I think those who are sounding acclaim are just happy to see the reporters who are asking stupid questions being put in their place. As to Ann's problem I am not at all sure what it may be other than a displaced expectation of what a press secretary can or should accomplish- after all a press conference is not a seminar on the law. I also fear that there may be a frustrated desire to lecture all of us on the law, as well as a little jealousy of the youth and looks of McEnany.

doctrev said...

Remember: Ann Althouse doesn't find the Babylon Bee funny, yet keeps linking SNL clips. It's practically a textbook example of Boomery. Her acumen in appealing to Republicans has some uses, but at the end of the day she's the sort of feminist who is easily pushed into following the elite crowd, no matter how few clothes the Emperor has.

Rusty said...

I am judging it politically, even though some of you assert that I'm looking at it like a law professor grading an exam. Not so. You'd have to pay me $1,000 an hour to grade exams. More, actually. This blog is emphatically not me grading exams.

Whew! We were all worried.

bagoh20 said...

Althouse is criticizing McEnany for not falling into the reporter's trap by giving him what they need to diffuse the issue. That's why McEnany doesn't have that job just from her looks.

bagoh20 said...

When you criticize someone's strategy try to make sure you have a better one.

narciso said...

almost everyone in that room, was a party to this fraud, or the Ukraine one, or coverups of the Wuhan flu, and they continue it by not publicizing the results of the 53 affidavits detailed,

Michael K said...

There may be a few crimes in Obamagate, but a whole lot of unethical behavior.

The problem is that the situation is so complicated that it will never be properly explained. It was years before Watergate was finally understood as an FBI hit job on Nixon.

Achilles said...


... and I thought it was clumsy and nonresponsive. I felt a little embarrassed for her. Later, looking at social media, I saw her extolled by people who, I think, are expressing their real enthusiasm.

Ann is just mad she has to talk about Obamagate.

You voted for Hillary.

The entire campaign can easily and accurately be described as a traitorous cabal in league with the Obama administration.

It must be embarrassing to have voted for criminals that make Watergate look like nothing.

Joan said...

Cronus titan, Althouse is retired, hence her going rate of $1000/hour to grade exams. Sounds about right to me!

Obamagate reminds me of the Clinton Whitewater/Rose Lawfirm/WH Travel Office/etc Scandals. Everything stunk of corruption, but it was impossible to summarize, and what finally somewhat tarnished Bill was lying about his affair with Lewinsky, even though I’m not sure that’s what his perjury charge was about!

The current scandal dwarfs that by several orders of magnitude. For now I think it is enough to say that the Obama Administration weaponized the government to first prevent Trump from winning and then to take down his administration. Diving into the details gets you into weeds so thick you’ll need a 3-volume set of books to lay it all out. Stick to the sound bite and encourage the people and the press to go after the details. Sarah Carter and John Solomon are two reporters who have been digging into this for years. There really is a LOT of information out there if you care to find it. Both Andy McCarthy (Ball of Collusion) and Greg Jarrette (Witch Hunt) have already published books on this scandal, and there will be many more.

I’m still surprised Althouse professes she doesn’t know what “the crime” was, when we now know all about the lies to obtain the warrants to spy on Page, AND how similar lies were used to target Flynn. The pattern of criminal behavior is beyond disturbing.

Achilles said...

Ann Althouse said...
"She is operating in the court of public opinion. In that court the objective and means are different."

I'm a member of the public, and in that position, I vote guilty. Don't know if I'm in the majority, but she had a chance to win my vote and didn't, so in my view, she failed in the court of public opinion.

Shorter Ann:

"LALALALALALALALALALALA"

hombre said...

pacesetter: “Jury is still out on how she is doing on that. I don't hold out much hope on it. The press is dug in.”

The press is beyond influencing. McEnany and the rest of Trump’s people know that. Her job is to turn their gotcha questions back on them with facts that emphasize their bias and stupidity. When dealing with a hostile media, you don’t answer their questions, you answer your own questions.

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