Kayleigh McEnany got fact-checked for making a false claim.
The White House press secretary said during a press briefing Thursday that Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett “is a Rhodes scholar,” according to a tweet by a Bloomberg News reporter who covered the briefing. The terms refers to the prestigious scholarship to study at Oxford University.
Barrett, however, did not receive a Rhodes Scholarship, but rather earned a B.A. in English literature from Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, where she graduated magna cum laude, according to her bio at the University of Notre Dame Law School, where she is also an alumna and a member of school’s faculty.
When a reporter pointed out this fact to McEnany, the press secretary responded by saying, “That’s what I have written here,” referencing her notes.
When the reporter continued to push, McEnany responded: “She attended Rhodes College, so, my bad.”
Heather Long, a reporter for The Washington Post who actually was a Rhodes scholar, took things a step further by checking the scholarship’s alumni database and tweeted her findings Thursday.
“I am pasting below all Rhodes Scholars ever selected with the first name ‘Amy,’” Long tweeted. “Amy Coney Barrett is not a ‘Rhodes Scholar.’”
McEnany’s gaffe seems consistent with the Trump administration’s record of lying to the American public.
Barrett, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, was mentored by Antonin Scalia, a Supreme Court justice who consistently ruled against gender equality.
Barrett, a strict Catholic, is socially conservative and has called Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision ensuring the right to abortion, an “erroneous decision.” She has also signed a public “statement of protest” against the Affordable Care Act’s birth control benefit, referring to it as an “assault on religious liberty.”
If confirmed, Barrett, 48, would be the youngest justice on the Supreme Court and her tenure could last for decades.