White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany inaccurately called Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett a “Rhodes Scholar” Thursday, then walked the statement back.
Barrett attended Rhodes College for her undergraduate degree before moving on to Notre Dame for her law degree. A Rhodes Scholar is someone who earns the prestigious international scholarship to study at the University of Oxford in England.
When pressed on the mix-up during a Thursday’s press briefing, McEnany first referred to her notes, saying, “That’s what I have written here.”
“She attended Rhodes College,” said a reporter, prompting McEnany to say, “Attended Rhodes College. So, my bad.”
The gaffe lit up social media, where Talking Points Memo’s Josh Marshall joked, “I was also a Rhodes Scholar because I went to graduate school in Rhode Island.”
Others pointed out that Fox News made the same error while reporting on Barrett’s nomination last week when an on-air graphic referred to her as a “Rhodes scholar.”
President Donald Trump nominated Barrett last week, eight days after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died.
Barrett is a conservative 7th Circuit appeals judge from Indiana who has been a federal judge for three years. Early in her career she also served on George W. Bush’s legal team in the Bush v. Gore decision that handed the presidency to Bush despite his popular vote loss in 2000.
In his announcement, Trump described Barrett as a “towering intellect” who had “unyielding loyalty to the Constitution.”
Watch McEnany’s walk-back below:
McEnany: "My bad."pic.twitter.com/mJTfEmdltL
— The Recount (@therecount) October 1, 2020