White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Monday that President Trump and Dr. Anthony Fauci have a “good working relationship” after aides publicly attacked Fauci’s credibility.
“To the notion that there’s opposition research and that there’s Fauci versus the president couldn’t be further from the truth,” McEnany told reporters. “Dr. Fauci and the president have always had a very good working relationship.”
Trump’s aides released a list of comments made by Dr. Fauci, the nation’s top government infectious disease expert, early on in the coronavirus pandemic, such as his assertions that people with no symptoms could play a significant role in spreading the virus. The officials also pointed to Fauci’s early comments that everyday life would not be disrupted by the coronavirus outbreak.
The list emphasized apparent tension between Trump and Fauci in recent weeks. Trump told Sean Hannity last week that Fauci has “made a lot of mistakes” in his response to the outbreak. Meanwhile, Fauci said last week that his reputation for “not sugar-coating things” might be why he hasn’t been on television lately. He also said he has not seen Trump in the White House since June 2 but that he is “sure” his messages are passed along.
Trump stepped up his efforts to undercut Fauci’s credibility Monday when he retweeted messages from his supporters, many of whom dispute Fauci’s warnings about a worsening coronavirus outbreak, which has now infected more than 3.3 million people in the United States. For instance, Trump retweeted a message from former game show host and Trump supporter Chuck Woolery, who said Democrats, doctors, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are all lying about the virus in an effort to hurt Trump’s chances in the general election.
The most outrageous lies are the ones about Covid 19. Everyone is lying. The CDC, Media, Democrats, our Doctors, not all but most ,that we are told to trust. I think it’s all about the election and keeping the economy from coming back, which is about the election. I’m sick of it.
— Chuck Woolery (@chuckwoolery)
July 13, 2020
McEnany denied “opposition research being dumped to reporters” and reaffirmed Trump’s good working relationship with Fauci: “We provided a direct response to a direct question, and that’s about it.”