Thirty-two-year-old Kayleigh McEnany has hit the ground running as the new White House press secretary, taking on Democrats and the anti-Trump media on a daily basis while defending her faith and love of America.
Above all, McEnany’s close relationship with Jesus Christ and identity rooted in her faith and country has already marked her as a fierce defender of constitutional freedoms and the values Americans have championed and fought for since the founding of the nation.
"I believe God put me in this place for a purpose and for a reason – like He does with each and every life," McEnany told CBN News in a recent interview. "We're all here for a reason."
Turning the tables on the media
Even though she is the youngest person to ever serve as a White House press secretary at 32 years of age, McEnany, as a Harvard Law School graduate, has demonstrated nerves of steel when bombarded by the media in the press room – regularly forcing journalists to retreat from their attacks on the president … often switching from the defensive when questioning the press on its partisan anti-Trump bias, unsubstantiated claims dressed as facts and left-leaning coverage of the administration.
However, her composure behind the podium and seemingly effortless and flawless delivery, defense and explanation of Trump administration policies did not come without preparation – or come about naturally, but supernaturally – and were preceded by anxiety … that is, before she petitioned for God’s help in what CBN News called “an impromptu West Wing prayer session.”
"I was in panic mode right before," McEnany recounted. "I was just rattled and extremely nervous and feeling a lot of anxiety. I called my mom and on speakerphone – my family and we all prayed together … and all of a sudden, I took a deep breath, and after those prayers, moved forward. I felt such strength, went in and talked to the president, and then walked out and did the job that only could be done if God was there helping you along the way."
One example of turning the tables came when Reuters White House Correspondent Jeff Mason confronted McEnany about a remark she made on Trump’s campaign trail before becoming press secretary, when she said the president would not allow the coronavirus to enter America. Mason asked, “Would you like to take that back?”
She shot right back.
"I guess I would turn the question back on the media and ask similar questions," McEnany responded, according to Fox News. "Does Vox want to take back that they proclaim that the coronavirus would not be a deadly pandemic? Does The Washington Post want to take back that they told Americans to 'get a grip,' the flu is bigger than the coronavirus? Does The Washington Post, likewise, want to take back that our brains are causing us to exaggerate the threat of the coronavirus? Does The New York Times want to take back that fear of the virus may be spreading faster than the virus itself? Does NPR want to take back that the flu was a much bigger threat than the coronavirus? And finally, once again – The Washington Post – would they like to take back that the government should not respond aggressively to the coronavirus?"
"I'll leave you with those questions, and maybe you'll have some answers in a few days," McEnany concluded the press conference.
She turned another media attack around when asked what power Trump had to compel churches to reopen.
"The president will strongly encourage every governor to allow their churches to reopen, and boy, it’s interesting to be in a room that desperately wants to seem to see these churches and houses of worship stay closed," McEnany retorted.
Reuters’ veteran White House reporter Jeff Mason insisted he was “dying to go back to church,” but said the media’s concern was that Trump could be unsafely encouraging churches to reopen.
"Jeff, it is safe to reopen your churches if you do so in accordance with the guidelines," McEnany assured while citing CDC guidelines, according to The Hill.
She also turned the tables when One America News’ Chanel Rion asked if Trump was planning on pardoning former President Barack Obama for the “unfounded charge” of wiretapping Trump Tower and of other crimes.
"I have not spoken to the president about that, but who I did speak to about President Obama and unmasking Michael Flynn were the men and women in this room," McEnany answered before presenting slides highlighting questions the media has avoided asking regarding the case alleging the previous administration’s fabrication of “Russian collusion” based on no evidence against the targeted former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
She exited the room leaving the press to ponder.
Embracing more wisdom
McEnany’s savviness as the Trump administration’s voice also comes from former White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders’s godly advice.
"Sarah is a wise mentor," McEnany shared. "In fact, that day when I was so nervous before the first press briefing, it was her texts that helped me quite a lot in that moment, because she sent me a 'Jesus Calling' devotional."
Dedicating her life to Jesus Christ as a teen, McEnany’s faith started while growing up in a Southern Baptist home, and after graduating a Catholic all-girls school in Florida, her faith grew in her 20s.
"I was going through a hard time in New York, and I was going to a great church," she recounted. "I remember feeling very lonely. It was when I first started my young professional life, and I remember getting a call. I never answered numbers I didn't know, but I answered that day, and it said, 'Hey, this is the Journey Church. We feel like we need to pray for you right now, how can we pray for you?' It was at a distinct moment that I needed to hear from Christ, and I felt that He communicated to me through my church, and it's that moment I think my faith became even more real."
Her faith was refined during college when she received a call from her doctor after a medical exam and learned that females on her mom’s side of the family carry a gene predisposing her to breast cancer.
"It was close to Christmas Eve, and [I was] just crying because I got a call from the doctor saying, ‘You have this genetic mutation,” she recalled. “I didn't know what to do with it."
God’s healing hand through a double mastectomy with minimal cosmetic effects in 2018 strengthened her faith, and her career flourished afterward – now with her husband of three years and baby girl at her side.
“She joined CNN as a conservative voice, outnumbered but standing her ground; became a top GOP official with the Republican National Committee, and was the top campaign spokeswoman for the 2020 Trump re-election campaign,” CBN News reported.
McEnany’s faith is central in her family and professional life – raising her daughter in the Word and leading weekly Bible studies on Trump’s campaign.
"It is a balance, but I know at the end of the day, if I give Blake the same faith upbringing and relationship with Jesus Christ that my parents gave me, she will be an unstoppable woman of faith in whatever she decides to do," she said. "[The campaign and I] would pray and read the Word, [and] it just gave a little pep in our step because these days are demanding, they're challenging, they're long in politics – whether you're a Democrat or Republican, that's the nature of the job. It was a little rod of lightning … of just energy and joy in our day."
McEnany was asked if being a strong conservative Christian woman championing Trump draws the media’s ire.
"I think that's right,” she concurred. “People are attacked for their faith – not just me, but Christian men and women across this country. It's unfortunate, but I think we found a real voice in President Trump, who stood for religious freedom and pro-life and [has] given us this boldness. It was at Harvard Law School – when I felt attacked as a conservative and as a Christian – that I realized it was that megaphone and that kind of boldness we needed … and that kind of fighter we needed to represent the Christian community."
Despite her current position of prominence, the communications expert still maintains her main audience is God.
"My mission in life is that when I pass, that He will look at me and say, 'Well done, good and faithful servant,'" McEnany closed. "If I can end my life that way, it doesn't matter what the people say on the way there."