Political News

White House press secretary's husband attends briefing without a mask

Posted December 2, 2020 5:19 p.m. EST

— White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany's husband Sean Gilmartin attended a press briefing at the White House Tuesday afternoon without a mask and ignored a request from a journalist to put one on.

As McEnany briefed reporters, Gilmartin stood at the back of the room and can be seen in video without a mask throughout the 30-minute briefing.

The White House Correspondents Association, the group in charge of the White House Briefing Room, has a mask-wearing policy and there are numerous signs throughout the briefing room asking everyone who is there to wear a mask. The association has also asked members of the press to work from home if possible, and has limited the number of outlets in the briefing room on a rotating basis. For example, CNN did not have a seat in the briefing on Tuesday.

But the White House press office has tried to push those boundaries, including by inviting other journalists to be in the room as "guests of the press secretary."

According to reporters in the room on Wednesday, Gilmartin was approached by New York Times Photographer Doug Mills, who "politely" pointed out to Gilmartin that masks are required in press areas.

A White House staffer who was with Gilmartin said incredulously, "Kayleigh's husband?" according to a reporter in the room. The staffer and Gilmartin exited together as Mills restated the mask rules and said it doesn't matter who he is.

Gilmartin, a former Major League Baseball pitcher, is not a member of the White House communications team.

"At her first briefing in nearly two weeks, Kayleigh McEnany brought six aides and a guest into the briefing room. None of them wore masks. To protect themselves and others, reporters have diligently worn face coverings since officials urged it from the briefing room podium," tweeted White House Correspondents Association vice president Steven Portnoy of CBS News Radio.

McEnany was diagnosed with Covid-19 in October and has since recovered.

Our commenting policy has changed. If you would like to comment, please share on social media using the icons below and comment there.