White House Denies Fight Between Donald Trump and Anthony Fauci

President Donald Trump listens as Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a coronavirus task force briefing in the Rose Garden of the White House, Sunday, March 29, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Patrick Semansky/AP Photo

The White House denied reports on Monday of anonymously sending opposition research to reporters regarding Dr. Anthony Fauci.

“To the notion that there’s opposition research and that there’s Fauci vs. the president couldn’t be further from the truth,” White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said during a press briefing on Monday. “Dr. Fauci and the president have always had a good working relationship.”

McEnany said White House officials were merely responding to reporters’ questions concerning Trump’s comments about Fauci’s mistakes while dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

“Dr. Fauci is a nice man, but he’s made a lot of mistakes,” Trump said in an interview with Sean Hannity on Friday.

Several media outlets reported that the White House sent them “opposition research” to discredit Fauci in response to their questions about the president’s comment.

But McEnany denied those reports.

“There’s no opposition research being dumped to reporters,” she said. “We were asked a very specific question by the Washington Post, and that question was President Trump noted that Dr. Fauci had made some mistakes, and we provided a direct answer to a direct question.”

Fauci also criticized the United States for not doing well controlling the virus.

“As a country, when you compare us to other countries, I don’t think you can say we’re doing great. I mean, we’re just not,” he said in an interview with FiveThirtyEight.

Fauci said Friday that he has not seen Trump in person since June 2 and had not briefed the president for at least two months.


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