Former President Donald Trump has denounced Kayleigh McEnany, his administration’s White House press secretary, for suggesting that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis may be gaining on him in GOP presidential primary polls.
Trump blasted McEnany in a Truth Social post on Tuesday, calling her “milktoast”—an apparent misspelling of “milquetoast,” an insult for a timid or bland person—and condemning her current role as a Fox News host. The former president suggested that McEnany, who urged him to hold off on announcing his 2024 campaign last year, was a “RINO,” or “Republican in name only.”
During a Fox News broadcast earlier in the day, McEnany said that DeSantis may be “closing the gap” in Iowa’s GOP primary race, although it was unclear which polls she was referencing. Trump insisted that McEnany had provided the “wrong poll numbers” while laying into her for supposedly promoting the Florida governor, whom he has taken to calling “Ron DeSanctimonious.”
“Kayleigh ‘Milktoast’ McEnany just gave out the wrong poll numbers on FoxNews,” Trump wrote. “I am 34 points up on DeSanctimonious, not 25 up. While 25 is great, it’s not 34. She knew the number was corrected upwards by the group that did the poll. The RINOS & Globalists can have her. FoxNews should only use REAL Stars!!!”
Newsweek has reached out to McEnany via email for comment.
Shortly before Trump’s post, McEnany said during an appearance on Fox News’ Jesse Watters Primetime that the DeSantis campaign would argue it had “closed the gap by nine points since we announced in Iowa,” with Trump’s advantage in the Hawkeye State supposedly falling from 34 points to 25 points since the governor announced his candidacy last week.
While McEnany was guest-hosting The Ingraham Angle later on Tuesday, GOP Republican Representative Chip Roy of Texas seemingly referenced the insult from the former president. Roy, a Trump loyalist, specifically called the GOP’s debt ceiling deal with President Joe Biden “milquetoast” before asking McEnany “if that word might mean something to you.”
Although it was not clear which poll numbers McEnany and Trump were referencing specifically, a poll released by Emerson College last week showed the former president with a massive 42-point advantage over DeSantis in Iowa.
The first GOP primary poll conducted since DeSantis declared his candidacy surveyed Republican voters in South Carolina rather than Iowa.
That poll, released by National Research Inc. on Friday and commissioned by American Greatness showed that Trump was favored by 43 percent of likely South Carolina GOP primary voters, while DeSantis was favored by 18 percent.
Trump’s apparent feud with McEnany may have escalated in February when the former White House press secretary urged DeSantis to challenge her former boss during a Fox News broadcast, calling him “the hottest governor in Republican politics.”
After McEnany praised Trump on Twitter for his “policy” remarks during a Tucker Carlson interview in April, the former president suggested on Truth Social that her praise for him was due to collapsing poll numbers for DeSantis.
“I guess Kayleigh is no longer speaking so favorably about DeSanctimonious now that his Polls are shot,” Trump wrote.
The post Trump Rips Kayleigh ‘Milktoast’ McEnany Over Poll Numbers appeared first on Newsweek.