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Kayleigh McEnany’s Rhodes Scholar Gaffe Inspires Plenty of Corny College Jokes

The White House press secretary misspoke about Judge Amy Coney Barrett's education.

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany speaks during the press briefing

Since Donald Trump took office in 2017, every White House press conference has featured a cavalcade of lies, alternative facts, and doublespeak. Most of the lies are intentional, but often they are the result of ignorance. And sometimes, they are both, as was Kayleigh McEnany’s claim this morning that Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett was a Rhodes scholar. In fact, Barrett was never a Rhodes scholar, but she did receive a bachelor’s degree from Rhodes College in Memphis.

When corrected by a journalist, McEnany replied, “my bad,” and continued with the briefing. The Rhodes Scholarship is an international postgraduate award for students to study at the University of Oxford. The prestigious scholarship has been awarded to people like Ronan Farrow, Pete Buttigieg, Rachel Maddow, Cory Booker, and former president Bill Clinton.

Whether or not the wording was a ploy to pad Judge Barrett’s resume or just a dumb mistake, it nevertheless inspired Twitter to break out their corniest college dad jokes. Others riffed on pop culture Rhodes references. Here are some of our favorites:

(featured image: JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

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Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.