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Politics: Kayleigh McEnany: Decoding the mysteries of the White House press secretary's briefing book

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On Thursday afternoon, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany briefed the White House press corps.

  Kayleigh McEnany: Decoding the mysteries of the White House press secretary's briefing book © Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

And Reuters photographer Jonathan Ernst captured this amazing shot of the press secretary's briefing binder:

Interesting, no? It's worth going through each of those tabs -- as best as I can decipher them! -- to examine what McEnany anticipates being asked (and wants to make sure she has full research on at her fingertips.)

McEnany: Trump looking to 'significantly bump up' education funding in next coronavirus relief package

  McEnany: Trump looking to 'significantly bump up' education funding in next coronavirus relief package White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said that President Trump was looking to “substantially bump up” funding for education in the next coronavirus relief bill, but “this money should go to the students,” she said.McEnany was questioned by reporters in the White House press briefing about the president's Wednesday morning tweet in which he threatened to cut funding to schools that do not reopen for in-person learning amid the coronavirus pandemic.

So, let's go through the tabs from back to front, shall we?

* "Statues": Trump has sought to make calls for the removal of a variety of statues -- from Confederate generals to the likes of Christopher Columbus -- as a sign of PC culture run wild. He also signed an executive order seeking to punish those who deface or seek to remove statues.

* "Stone": As in Roger Stone, Trump's longtime political confidant whose sentence for lying to Congress and witness tampering was commuted by the President last week.

* "System": I'm at a loss on this one. Maybe ways in which the political system has wronged Trump? Or a reference to The National's brilliant tune "The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness"? (OK, it's not that. But that song does rule.)

* "Univer": You would think this has to do with the debate over whether or not to reopen colleges and universities in the fall due to the coronavirus pandemic. Most are planning to reopen in some fashion although with less students on campus and/or more online classes. "We have to get the schools open," Trump said earlier this week in the Rose Garden. "We have to get everything open. A lot of people don't want to do that for political reasons, not for other reasons."

White House press briefings have become 'purely political,' Correspondents' Association President Jonathan Karl says

  White House press briefings have become 'purely political,' Correspondents' Association President Jonathan Karl says The White House press secretary typically plays a key role in informing the public about the policies and positions of the President. The secretary's salary is funded by American taxpayers. © Evan Vucci/AP White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany speaks during a press briefing at the White House, Tuesday, June 30, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) But lately, press briefings held by White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany "have begun to look purely political," White House Correspondents' Association President Jonathan Karl told CNN's Brian Stelter on "Reliable Sources" Sunday.

* "Wins": Trump is obsessed with all of his various "wins." So, it makes sense that this is a major talking point for McEnany. (Trump is a major consumer of the daily press briefing.) Trump has repeatedly claimed he has done more in his first term than any past president, although how one would determine that is, uh, not clear.

* "Obama": Of late, Trump has had his predecessor in the White House on his mind. A lot. "I know many in business and politics that work out endlessly, in some cases to a point of exhaustion. It is their number one passion in life, but nobody complains," Trump tweeted over the weekend. "My 'exercise' is playing, almost never during the week, a quick round of golf. Obama played more and much longer rounds, no problem." (This is not true.) He also recently told Fox News' Sean Hannity that "President Obama and Joe Biden spied on my campaign. They knew everything that was going on." (This is also not true.)

A White House photographer snapped a photo of the press secretary's helpful notes — here's what we think they mean

  A White House photographer snapped a photo of the press secretary's helpful notes — here's what we think they mean The White House press secretary consults this binder full of notes — with topics ranging from "ABSURD" to "WINS."McEnany, the fourth press secretary during Donald Trump's presidency, averages roughly 20-30 minutes per briefing. That's barely enough time to explain the Trump administration's clear stance on "BLM," let alone "CHINA.

* "PPE": As CNN reported earlier this week, Trump's reluctance to use the Defense Production Act has led to a shortage of personal protective equipment. "The Department of Health and Human Services listed 19 companies that have received contracts under the Defense Production Act to produce emergency supplies, including 600 million N95 respirators and face masks," CNN reported. "But experts say it's not enough and that the effort started far too late. Only about half the masks ordered will be delivered by the end of this year."

* "Privil": Presumably executive privilege, which Trump has repeatedly invoked to protect himself from the special counsel investigation into Russia as well as any number of other requests made by Congressional Democrats.

* "Reopen": Trump has, for months now, insisted that the country needs to reopen in order to keep the economy from collapse. He has continued to argue for reopening in spite of surging coronavirus numbers in a number of states.

* "Russia": Not sure if you've heard but the President believes Russian interference in the 2016 election designed to help him and hurt Hillary Clinton is a "hoax" -- despite the fact that the intelligence community, special counsel Robert Mueller and the Senate Intelligence Committee have all concluded it was very real.

'I don't think I'm fake news': Highlights from Chris Wallace's contentious interview with Trump

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* "Sched": One of the questions any press secretary is regularly asked is where the President is going next and who he is meeting with. Hence, knowing his schedule is critical if you are McEnany.

* "School": See "Univers."

* "Karl": Thursday was Jonathan Karl's (of ABC News) last day as president of the White House Correspondents Association. Maybe McEnany had this tab to remind herself to congratulate him?

* "LBGT": In June, the Supreme Court ruled against the Trump administration when it said that federal civil rights laws protect gay, lesbian and transgender workers.

* "Lies": Uh, well, Trump did recently cross 20,000 false or misleading statements in his first term, according to The Washington Post.

* "Mary": A reference to Trump's niece, Mary, whose book, "Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man," sold 950,000(!) copies in its first days of sales this week.

* "Masks": Trump has repeatedly politicized mask wearing and expressed skepticism as to their necessity. "I've never been against masks, but I do believe they have a time and a place," Trump said before donning a mask in a visit to Walter Reed hospital last weekend, the first time he has been spotted in public with a mask on.

* "Media": Sort of self explanatory. One note: Trump's attacks on the media as "fake news" have been one of the very few through-lines of his political career.

Kayleigh McEnany Urges Fox News Viewers to ‘Follow Trump’s Lead’ on Masks

  Kayleigh McEnany Urges Fox News Viewers to ‘Follow Trump’s Lead’ on Masks During a Tuesday morning appearance on Fox & Friends, Kayleigh McEnany was asked about President Donald Trump’s apparent evolution on the value of masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. She seemed to have no idea what the hosts were talking about. “The president’s always been very clear where he stood on masks,” the White House press secretary stated. “He said, ‘If I couldn’t socially distance, I’d wear one.’ In his case, he’s the most tested person in America, so he’s very safe when he goes out and about.” But Fox host Steve Doocy was not entirely satisfied with her revisionist history. “[Trump] has said that,” he said.

* "Meuller": Well, it's "M-u-e-l-l-e-r" as in former FBI director and Russia special counsel Mueller.

* "Flynn": Michael Flynn, the former Trump administration national security adviser, pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his conversations with Russians after the 2016 election. Despite that, the Justice Department decided not to pursue the case against Flynn in May.

* "Golf": The President likes to play. A lot. According to CNN's count, Trump has made 277 visits to his golf properties during his presidency. Also: See "Obama."

* "Goya": UGH. Actually, DOUBLE UGH.

* "Hatch": See "Goya."

* "Hate": You would think, maybe, this tab refers to hate groups? Not for nothing, white nationalist hate groups have grown 55% during Trump's presidency, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

* "Health": When he ran for president in 2015, Trump's personal physician said that "if elected Mr. Trump, I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency." In 2018, that doctor told CNN that Trump had dictated the letter to him and he had just signed it. And, did I mention that Trump believes exercise is actually bad for you?

* "Hogan": Republican Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is on a publicity tour promoting his memoir -- and he's been very critical of Trump, specifically as it relates to the coronavirus. McEnany called Hogan's criticism "revisionist history" during the briefing. Hogan defended himself as having always been "very upfront and straightforward" in an interview Thursday night with CNN's Erin Burnett.

Trump, GOP ally vow Confederate base names won't change

  Trump, GOP ally vow Confederate base names won't change WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump and a top Senate Republican are pushing Congress to preserve the names of military bases that honor Confederate generals, even though the House and Senate have overwhelmingly approved bills that rename them. Trump said in a tweet Friday that he had spoken to Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe, the Republican chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, “who has informed me that he WILL NOT be changing the names of our great Military Bases and Forts, places from which we won two World Wars (and more!).″ (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) Trump said in a tweet Friday that he had spoken to Oklahoma Sen.

* "Covid": As of late Friday morning, there were 3,592,316 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the United States, with 138,543 Americans having died from the virus.

* "DACA": The Supreme Court blocked the Trump administration from ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program last month. "And we're not talking about DACA because I'm going to take care of DACA, much better than the Democrats did," Trump said in the Rose Garden earlier this week. Er, no.

* "Early": Early voting? That seems most likely as Trump has savaged mail-in balloting -- calling it "subject to tremendous fraud and being rigged" this week. There is not now, nor has there ever been, any evidence of any widespread voter fraud in mail-in or absentee balloting.

* "Econ": Trump loves to say he built the greatest economy in the history of the country prior to the coronavirus pandemic. He didn't.

* "Election": At the moment, it looks like 2020 will be a Democratic landslide. Or, according to Trump: "This [election] should be a lot easier as our poll numbers are rising fast, the economy is getting better, vaccines and therapeutics will soon be on the way, and Americans want safe streets and communities." On a related note: "Election" with Reese Witherspoon and Matthew Broderick is amazing.

* "Fauci": The White House is in an ongoing public spat with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, over his dire public pronouncements about the course of the coronavirus. Trump himself continues to say publicly that he gets along well with Fauci and won't fire him. Also: See "Covid."

* "Absurd": McEnany didn't use this word at all in Thursday's briefing. The mind recoils on what is included in this tab.

* "BLM": In the wake of the death of George Floyd in police custody in May and the nationwide protests it sparked, Trump has sought to paint those taking to the streets as violent and anti-American. Earlier this month, he referred to the words "Black Lives Matter" as a "symbol of hate."

* "Ballot": See "Early."

* "Cases": 3,592,316. Also: See "Covid."

* "CDC": Trump has pressured the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to soften its recommendations on how schools can safely reopen this fall. Also, this week CDC Director Robert Redfield said this about mask-wearing: "We are not defenseless against COVID-19. Cloth face coverings are one of the most powerful weapons we have to slow and stop the spread of the virus -- particularly when used universally within a community setting. All Americans have a responsibility to protect themselves, their families, and their communities."

* "China": "They could've stopped it, they should've stopped it. Would've been very easy to do at the source when it happened." -- Trump this week on China and the coronavirus.

McEnany: Trump would like to see 'legislative fix' to DACA, order will focus on 'merit-based immigration' .
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Friday President Trump wants to see a “legislative fix” to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program after the president suggested a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients would be included in his forthcoming immigration order. © Provided by FOX News White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany discusses the immigration order on DACA at a briefing.

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