Shortly after White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany concluded her Tuesday briefing, astute viewers noticed that one reporter may have called McEnany the unofficial second worst name a woman can be called.
During a heated back and forth with Al Jazeera English reporter Kimberly Halkett during the questions portion of the briefing, McEnany stopped the far-left reporter from asking a third question of Russian election meddling. While still on an active microphone, however, Halkett muttered one more thing before the Press Secretary moved on to the next activist "reporter" in the White House press pool.
Halkett's attempted third baseless accusation-slash-question was again about Russian meddling conspiracies, a subject McEnany was ready to move on from. It was then that the Press Secretary issued the Al Jazeera reporter her signature briefing room smack down, squashing the fire of anti-Trump rhetoric with ice-cold facts.
"There are questions about mass mail-out voting, and I know you don't want to hear them, which is why you talk over me," McEnany fired back after being badgered by Halkett. "You've gotten two questions which is more than some of your colleagues," she then said when Halkett refused to concede.
While the next reporter attempted to redirect the line of questioning to Chinese vaccination research, Halkett continued her pursuit of McEnany and what she said next set social media on fire with questions.
(GRAPHIC LANGUAGE WARNING)
I broke it down so you can hear it better. Our @PressSec was called a “lying bitch” on live television.— Kimberly Renée (@kimberlyrenee__) July 21, 2020
@ 6sec “Ok you’re a lying bitch”
Today’s journalism at its finest.@realDonaldTrump pic.twitter.com/UBrcyM2olX
Twitter users immediately weighed in on the matter, splicing the clip of Halkett trailing off in a huff and trying to determine what she said. Halkett denied saying the word, saying instead that she accused McEnany of refusing to engage.
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
Hmmm. Some Twitter users rejected her explanation but others quickly noted that they could hear both sides of the story when they listened to the clip again. The confusion over transcribing the brief clip quickly drew comparisons to a viral image of a blue dress that a lot people thought was gold.
It's the internet blue dress all over again. I'm absolutely giving you the benefit of the doubt, as I don't think anyone would be that professionally suicidal on a Tuesday. :)— Matthew Betley (@MatthewBetley) July 21, 2020
Others compared it to an audio clip that made the rounds in which someone saying the word "Laurel" sounded somewhat like "Yanny."
The audio of Hacklett on Tuesday led some to call for revocation of her press pass for using an expletive against McEnany. It turns out, even if innocent in the matter she had been in trouble for using the 'b-word' before.
Whether or not she said that word, however, critics noted that her behavior was not becoming of a journalist privileged with access to the White House.
Still, it's disrespectful, you should feel privileged to be in that room. A lot of folks would be ready to fill that seat.— DAMIFINO • (@Remnsb) July 21, 2020
Either way, it was an unnecessary, rude comment and any supposed misunderstanding could've been avoided altogether had you been half as professional, tactful and disciplined as the Press Secretary is each time she steps up to that podium.— Wendy ???? ??? (@grace2bfree) July 21, 2020