On Tuesday, July 21, during a White House press conference, there was an incident that had many turning heads and ears. White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany quarreled with Al Jazeera English correspondent Kimberly Halkett on issues of foreign election interference and mail-in voting. According to several conservative commentators, reporters, and at least one news outlet, Halkett called the White House spokesperson a “lying bitch.”
McEnany eventually cited a Wall Street Journal op-ed while saying there are “questions about mass mail-out voting,” prompting Halkett to interject. As a result, McEnany lectured the reporter.
“I know you don’t want to hear them, which is why you talk over me, but I encourage you to read the op-ed,” McEnany said.
The reporter then attempted to ask another question, which McEnany waved off, adding that the Al Jazeera reporter had already gotten two questions asked. Halkett then mumbled a quick retort under her mask—caught on the mic—that sent everyone in a frenzy.
Everyone has been wearing a mask due to the COVOD-19 pandemic safety regulations in place at the White House. What was said was somewhat of a mutter, so naturally different people heard different things.
Some thought they heard, “Lying Bitch.”
Kimberly Halkett of Al Jazeera denies swearing and says she told McEnany, “OK, you don’t want to engage.”
Closer examination of the audio demonstrates that Halkett’s explanation is true.
The Daily Beast reporter Adam Rawnsley clipped the audio, applied a voice isolation filter to it, and slowed it down. Halkett can be heard remarking that McEnany didn’t “want to engage” with her.