The right-wing’s echo chamber was up in arms on Tuesday after several conservative journalists and pundits shared a clip from Kayleigh McEnany’s latest briefing and falsely claimed that a reporter might have called the White House press secretary a “lying bitch.”
Al Jazeera’s Kimberly Halkett pressed McEnany on Tuesday with multiple questions about maintaining the integrity of America’s elections.
When Halkett tried to follow-up by asking about vaccine research, McEnany scolded her for asking too many questions and moved on to another reporter.
“OK, you don’t want to engage,” Halkett said.
Right-wing media turned that phrase into Halkett somehow calling McEnany a “lying b*tch.”
— Charlie Spiering (@charliespiering) July 21, 2020
Yeah, someone said, “Yeah, you’re a lying bitch.” https://t.co/mDTABJe3MO
— Ned Ryun (@nedryun) July 21, 2020
Meaning: "Prettier than me." https://t.co/EIj0D02k8R
— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) July 21, 2020
The false claim was immediately debunked by the White House’s official transcript of the briefing.
— Andrew Feinberg (@AndrewFeinberg) July 21, 2020
The false claim was also quickly knocked down by Halkett herself:
Thanks for asking @charliespiering … there's a lot of misreporting out there about that briefing. The answer to your question is, I DID NOT. What I said was, "OKAY, YOU DON'T WANT TO ENGAGE." https://t.co/xmu5YR7gXr
— Kimberly Halkett (@KimberlyHalkett) July 21, 2020
Nobody called McEnany a "lying bitch." When McEnany declined to continue responding to follow-ups, the reporter muttered, "OK, you don't want to engage." You don't even need to slow down the audio (https://t.co/apu5EdLI8Y) to hear the correct words clearly. pic.twitter.com/SsDkbojsIQ
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) July 21, 2020