White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany began her press briefing on Thursday by touting the qualifications of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett. And while the conservative federal judge has a lengthy list of accolades on her resume, she is not, as Ms McEnany falsely claimed, a Rhodes scholar.
"When you said Judge Barrett was a Rhodes scholar, I don't believe that is true," a reporter noted during the briefing, just moments after the claim was made.
Ms McEnany glanced at her notes and replied, "Well, that's what I have written here."
This reporter just exposed Kayleigh McEnany for lying about Amy Coney Barrett being a Rhodes Scholar. Barrett attended Rhodes College. pic.twitter.com/u9Qk5uZEhp— NowThis (@nowthisnews) October 1, 2020
The reporter then pointed out that Ms Barrett actually attended Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, where she received her undergraduate degree.
"Attended Rhodes College. So, my bad," the press secretary shrugged, acknowledging her mistake.
The Rhodes Scholarship is the oldest and arguably most prestigious international scholarship program, awarded to outstanding students from around the world to study at the University of Oxford in England. The Rhodes Scholarship and Tennessee's Rhodes College have no relation to one another.
The walk-back lit up social media, with some people pointing out that Fox News made the same error while reporting on Ms Barrett's nomination last week when an on-air graphic referred to her as a "Rhodes scholar."
Like Kayleigh McEnany several days later (https://t.co/aFplb5boWl), Fox News falsely claimed on September 25 that Amy Coney Barrett is a "Rhodes scholar" (she went to Rhodes College). Fox's error was originally flagged in this tweet on that day: https://t.co/UjtHvJaav9 pic.twitter.com/RUUuPhvxfK— Eric Hananoki (@ehananoki) October 1, 2020
President Donald Trump's selection of Ms Barrett as his nominee to fill the Supreme Court seat came just eight days after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg died, and 38 days before the presidential election on November 3. Ms Barrett's confirmation hearing is set for October 12, but Democrats are fighting for a delay in the confirmation until the next president has been inaugurated.