McEnany appears on Fox in 'personal capacity' as Trump campaign adviser

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany appeared on two Fox networks on Tuesday as an adviser to the Trump campaign, further blurring the lines between the government and the president's reelection effort.

McEnany was identified on both "America's Newsroom" on Fox News and "Varney & Co." on Fox Business Network as a "Trump 2020 campaign adviser." She appeared to be recording the interviews from the Trump campaign's headquarters in Virginia, with Trump-Pence logos visible behind her.

White House deputy press secretary Sarah Matthews said McEnany "was appearing in her personal capacity as a private citizen." The distinction allows McEnany to avoid violating the Hatch Act, which forbids White House staffers from engaging in campaign activities.


A campaign official said McEnany appears "on a volunteer basis" for the reelection effort in her personal capacity. The shows have been instructed not to refer to her with her White House title in those situations, the official said.

In Tuesday's interviews, McEnany spoke about President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden adds to vote margin over Trump after Milwaukee County recount Krebs says allegations of foreign interference in 2020 election 'farcical'  Republicans ready to become deficit hawks again under a President Biden MORE's recent campaign rallies and attacked Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden adds to vote margin over Trump after Milwaukee County recount Krebs says allegations of foreign interference in 2020 election 'farcical'  New DOJ rule could allow executions by electrocution, firing squad MORE at length. She targeted the former vice president on Fox News over his stance on fracking and whether he supports expanding the Supreme Court.

"Joe Biden has become an empty vessel for the radical left as he’s withered away," McEnany said.

On Fox Business, she was introduced as an "adviser to the Trump campaign." She was pressed on why the campaign does not enforce mask wearing more strictly at rallies, particularly as coronavirus cases spike across much of the country.

“We have a First Amendment in this country, and President Trump is very intent on wanting to fight for the vote of the American people. Joe Biden’s in his basement," McEnany said. "If he won’t fight for your vote, he certainly will not fight for you as president."


McEnany previously served as the national press secretary for the Trump campaign until April when she was brought into the White House. In the six months since, McEnany has been a fierce defender of the president, giving semi-regular press briefings where she largely attacks the media and sticks to administration talking points.

The Trump White House has come under scrutiny repeatedly for blurring the lines between government activity and openly political activity.

Trump delivered his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in August from the South Lawn of the White House.

Watchdog groups have filed numerous Hatch Act complaints against administration officials, including trade adviser Peter Navarro, Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoBiden faces challenges, opportunities in Middle East O'Brien on 2024 talk: 'There's all kinds of speculation out there' Israeli military instructed to prepare for Trump strike on Iran: report MORE and senior White House adviser Stephen MillerStephen MillerPresident says Trump Jr. doing 'very well' after COVID-19 diagnosis Donald Trump Jr. tests positive for COVID-19 Giuliani's son, a White House staffer, tests positive for coronavirus MORE.

The Office of Special Counsel urged Trump in 2019 to fire then-White House counselor Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayWomen set to take key roles in Biden administration Lara Trump mulling 2022 Senate run in North Carolina: report Press: Where is Jim Baker when we need him? MORE for repeated violations of the Hatch Act. Trump refused to do so, and Conway left the White House in August citing a desire to focus on family matters.

Trump himself routinely gives campaign-style speeches at official White House events that are filled with attacks on his opponent. The Hatch Act does not apply to the president, though past presidents have typically avoided overt political rhetoric while at the White House.