McEnany made the comparison while responding to a question about the hiring process in the Trump White House. Over the past four years, the commander-in-chief has fired and replaced a significant number of high-ranking officials. More often than not, he attacked and insulted those officials via social media and during conversations with the press.
Most recently, Trump’s feud with his former national security adviser John Bolton made the headlines. Bolton — whose memoir, The Room Where It Happened, appears to be a scathing criticism of the president — was fired from his position in 2019. Since releasing the book, he has been relentlessly attacked and criticized by the president, who called him a “disgruntled boring fool.”
In a recent Twitter post, Trump described Bolton’s book as “a compilation of lies and made up stories.”
“Just trying to get even for firing him like the sick puppy he is!” the president tweeted.
“The president makes hiring decisions based on the fact that he likes to have countervailing viewpoints,” McEnany said after being asked about Trump’s hiring decisions.
“He likes the model of having a ‘team of rivals’ like what we saw in President Lincoln’s administration.”
“I’ve been a part of that. I often see rigorous debate and the president uses his gut and makes the best decision how to move forward,” the White House press secretary added.
Reporters pointed out that Trump has launched similar insults at his former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and former Defense Secretary James Mattis, asking McEnany to explain why the president keeps hiring people he considers “wacko” and “incompetent.”
McEnany replied that the labels seem to be “particularly true” when it comes to Bolton, who praised the president while working at the White House only to turn on him after being fired.
Much like his press secretary, Trump apparently believes that there are certain similarities between him and Lincoln. Trump recently said that he has been treated worse by his political opponents than any president in American history, including Lincoln.
Earlier this month, during an interview with Fox News, Trump argued that he has done more for African Americans than any almost any president in American history. The commander-in-chief noted that Lincoln — who abolished slavery — also “did good.”
The president also said that the end result of Lincoln’s actions was “questionable,” which prompted intense criticism.