On Tuesday, the White House was dominated with a going back and forth over about whether a journalist called White Home press secretary Kayleigh McEnany a “lying bitch.”
Kimberly Halkett of Al Jazeera denies saying that, and said she told McEnany, “OK, you don’t want to engage.”
I’ve listened to it, and I hear “lying bitch.” I even listened multiple times with the intentions of wanting to hear, “OK, you don’t want to engage,” but I just don’t hear it.
However, journalists and political aides replayed the tape repeatedly Tuesday, straining to hear what Halkett groaned after the heated exchange.
A reporter for The New York Post, who was sitting in front of Halkett, heard her say that McEnany didn’t want to engage and heard no profanity.
But other journalists lamented that a mask covering Halkett’s face made it impossible to see her lips during the essential moment, or determine which way the comment went.
Halkett, who quickly left the White House press area, chimed in to defend herself from a growing social media firestorm.
“There’s a lot of misreporting out there about that briefing,” Halkett wrote on Twitter. “I DID NOT. What I said was, ‘OKAY, YOU DON’T WANT TO ENGAGE.’” Even that would still be a smart aleck statement, because the reporter already got in two questions and was rudely trying for a third.
JUDGE FOR YOURSELF:
Here’s the moment repeated numerous times.
I would say there’s a lot of misreporting by Halkett and other Fake News outlets every day about this administration, which is why so many people could believe their lying ears when they heard her call the press secretary a lying bitch. I’m just giddy about being allowed to say lying bitch. It’s like a free pass for a day. Like, I couldn’t get away with saying the word b*tch for any other reason. See?
Halkett had gotten into it with McEnany during the briefing over whether or not President Donald Trump was doing enough to discourage “external sabotage” to the November election. It’s funny how Fake News reporters didn’t then and still don’t give a damn about the Obama administration interfering in the 2016 election on behalf of Hillary Clinton internally.
McEnany defended Trump and his focus on the security of mail-in ballots.
“There are legitimate questions about mass mail-in voting. And I know you don’t want to hear them, which is why you talk over me,” McEnany said.
Halkett then said, “On the China vaccine research, this is very important…,” but McEnany shot her down, saying, “You’ve gotten two questions, which is more than some of your colleagues.”
Halkett then made the disputed declaration.
All audio from the briefing — both for TV broadcasts and the White House’s YouTube livestream — comes through the identical feed, seemingly ruling out the possibility that different microphone locations caused clashing perceptions.
Tuesday marks the grand return of Trump’s 5 p.m. coronavirus briefings after a nearly three-month break.