McEnany criticizes DC mayor for not imposing earlier curfew amid protests
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Monday criticized the mayor of Washington, D.C., for not taking a tougher stance against protests in the nation’s capital.
McEnany on “Fox & Friends” pointed to Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) when asked why Trump had only singled out Democrats as needing to crack down harder on demonstrators.
“I think when you look at some of the befuddling actions, like right here in D.C., the mayor of D.C. didn’t issue a curfew until 11 p.m.,” McEnany said. “Well, guess what? At 10 p.m. you had St. John’s Church burning. Several other cities had curfews at 4 p.m., at 5 p.m., at 6 p.m.”
“Some of the actions are really not tough enough, as the president noted, particularly with the mayor here in D.C.,” she added.
The mayor’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Protests in D.C. raged for a third consecutive night Sunday outside the White House as part of nationwide demonstrations in response to the death of George Floyd, a black man who died last week after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for roughly eight minutes.
Bowser activated the National Guard on Sunday and imposed an 11 p.m. curfew in an attempt to keep the protests under control. While the protest at Lafayette Park began as a largely peaceful demonstration, there were escalations as the night wore on.
The fire department responded around 11 p.m. to a fire in the basement of St. John’s Church, which is located across the street from the White House and has hosted presidents dating back to the 1800s.
The protests at Lafayette Park have escalated in each of the last two days, with some individuals throwing bottles and rocks at police and police firing tear gas and pellets into crowds and some demonstrators looting and vandalizing businesses and office buildings.
McEnany condemned those who vandalized memorials on the National Mall and the Veterans Affairs building, saying such action “really undermines the message” of the broader protests.
President Trump has not spoken publicly about the unrest since Saturday afternoon. He instead spent Sunday tweeting calls for “law and order,” blaming escalating tensions nationwide on the media and antifa while encouraging local Democratic leaders to come down harder on protesters.
McEnany was noncommittal about the prospect of Trump addressing the nation on Monday but signaled he would continue to pressure local officials to take a tougher stance on the demonstrations.
“We’re targeting antifa, it’s very important, and the president’s also going to put an onus on Democrat mayors to be as tough as he has been,” she said.
McEnany is scheduled to hold a White House press briefing later on Monday.