Mayor Lori Lightfoot to White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany: ‘Hey, Karen. Watch your mouth’

Lightfoot’s smackdown was in reaction to McEnany calling her “the derelict mayor of Chicago.”

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Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany Holds Briefing At The White House

Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany called Mayor Lori Lightfoot “derelict” at the Thursday briefing.

Win McNamee/Getty Images

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany attacked Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Thursday, calling her “the derelict mayor of Chicago” because she is not asking President Donald Trump for crime-fighting help.

She pivoted to Lightfoot, calling her “derelict” as she was being pressed to explain why Trump, who, when asked in a CBS News interview why Blacks in the U.S. are killed by police, said, “So are white people.”

Lightfoot smacked back in a tweet, “Hey, Karen. Watch your mouth.”

According to, Karen is “the stereotypical name associated with rude, obnoxious and insufferable middle aged white women.”

A source close to Lightfoot confirmed to the Chicago Sun-Times that Lightfoot used Karen in that context.

McEnany picked up where President Donald Trump left off – hitting on crime in Chicago and castigating the mayor – as part of a run-up to a promised announcement next week about crime in Democratic cities. Trump is intent on portraying Democrats and 2020 rival Joe Biden as soft on crime and anti-police.

Trump said Wednesday, “We’ll have another announcement next week with the Attorney General, the FBI, and others concerning our cities, because the left-wing group of people that are running our cities are not doing the job that they’re supposed to be doing.

“And it’s not a very tough job to do if they knew what they were doing. So we’ll be talking about that next week and probably have an announcement as to what we’re planning to do to help them. They’re supposed to be asking for help, and they don’t want to ask,” Trump said, alluding to Lightfoot and Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

In June, Trump wrote Lightfoot and Pritzker asking them to phone him to discuss federal help. The letter was so full of insults and asides, Lightfoot and Pritzker took it as a press stunt.

McEnary calling Lightfoot “derelict” raised the rhetoric. She brought up Lightfoot twice in the Thursday briefing.

The first time was after being asked whether Trump was making fighting the COVID-19 pandemic his “biggest public priority.”

She said he was focusing on that and other things, “namely, Democrat cities not controlling their streets; namely, the mayor of Chicago — people dying in her — in her — on the streets of her city every weekend. And the President sent her a letter saying, “You must secure your city.”

The second time was when McEnany was asked about Trump’s comments on police brutality on CBS and if he won’t acknowledge the problems Blacks are having, how can he fix it.

She then switched to talking about children who have died as victims of violence; last week at a briefing McEnany showed the pictures of Chicago youngsters who were killed.

“I’ve listed for you the names of these kids who have died across this country. It is unacceptable, and under this President, he’ll take action. And the derelict mayor of Chicago should step up and ask for federal help because she’s doing a very poor job at securing her streets,” McEnany said.

The reporter who asked said,  “I was talking about — people who are dying at the hands of police officers.”

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