Kayleigh McEnany announced on August 5 that she was leaving CNN. A day later, she appeared on President Donald Trump’s Facebook page as the host of a “real news” segment touting the president’s achievements in the past week. And now it’s been revealed that she will be the new Republican National Committee spokesperson.
The 29-year-old Tampa native is a graduate of Georgetown University and has been working with Republican politicians for over a decade. In 2004, she worked on President George W. Bush’s re-election campaign and got a job in the White House Communications Office. During the 2016 presidential election and after Trump’s inauguration, McEnany was one of the conservative commentators CNN had on to defend Trump.
Here’s what you need to know about McEnany.
1. She Starred in the Second Episode of Trump’s ‘Weekly Update’ to Deliver ‘The Real News’
After a year of appearing on CNN, the network Trump has decried as “fake news,” McEnany announced on Twitter on August 5 that she was leaving the network. “While I have enjoyed my time at CNN, I will be moving to a new role. Stay tuned next week,” she wrote.
A day later, she appeared on Trump’s official Facebook page and other social media pages run by Trump’s team. She hosted the second “Weekly Update” video, in which she delivered brief news updates – all positive – about Trump’s job performance. At the end, she tells viewers, “I’m Kayleigh McEnany and that is the real news.”
The video was also posted by Official Team Trump on Twitter and is formatted to look like a traditional cable news broadcast. However, in the background, the 2016 Trump Pence campaign logo is visible in the background, as is the DonaldJTrump.com website address.
McEnany’s video is the second time Trump’s team has posted a “real news” video on social media. Eric Trump’s wife Lara Trump also appeared in a similar video posted on June 30. “I’m Lara Trump and that is the real news,” Lara says at the end.
A source told CNN that McEnany’s contract with CNN wasn’t about to expire. She wanted to leave to take this new role.
2. Her Next Job is Republican National Committee National Spokesperson
“Kayleigh will be an integral part of our Party’s ongoing commitment to promoting the Republican message to Americans across the country,” RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said in a statement. “Her wealth of experience will be invaluable to the RNC as we continue to support President Trump and build on our majorities in Congress as we head into 2018.”
“I am excited to be joining the RNC at such an important and historic time in our country,” McEnany added. “I’m eager to talk about Republican ideas and values and have important discussions about issues affecting Americans across this country.”
In the role, she will appear on television and radio to represent the party.
3. McEnany Found That She’s Positive for BRCA 1 & Is Preparing to Have Preventative Double Mastectomy
Four years ago, McEnany appeared on a Hallmark Channel show to discuss her plans to undergo a preventative double mastectomy after she learned that she tested positive for BRCA1, the genetic predisposition for breast cancer. She told the show that she has eight aunts who fought breast cancer.
McEnany had implants put in and planned to have breast tissue removed. She also said she wants to have her ovaries removed at age 35, after she has children.
In May 2016, Dana Loesch of The Blaze criticized McEnany on her radio show for her support of Trump. During her rant, Loesch called McEnany “flat-chested,” apparently unaware of McEnany’s medical history.
Loesch defended her comments, noting that the gene for bread cancer in her family. She said she was trying to make a comment on how Trump himself makes comments on women’s appearances.
4. She Has a J.D. From Harvard Law School & Took Classes at Oxford University
According to McEnany’s website, she has a J.D. from Harvard Law School and has a BSFS in International Politics from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. She also studied politics at Oxford University for a year while earning her Georgetown degree.
“I have always been fascinated by politics and political commentary. Interestingly, besides me, no one in my family has a specific interest in politics or comes from a political background,” McEnany told the University of Miami School of Law in 2014.
She first got a taste of working in politics as a sophomore in high school in 2004 when she volunteered for President George W. Bush’s 2004 campaign. She landed an internship with the campaign and, after Bush won re-election, in the White House Office of Media Aggairs. She wrote media briefings and once escorted Eli Manning to the Oval Office.
After graduating from Georgetown, she got a job on The Mike Huckabee Show as a producer. Her time there launched her career in cable news.
“Writing really hard-hitting questions in media has helped me ask critical questions while studying law. I believe the facts should lead you to your conclusion,” she told Miami Law. “However, with ideologies, people tend to reach conclusions that are not necessarily supported by the facts. My law professors have gotten me to question my views on issues I had preconceived ideas about.”
5. McEnany Is Engaged to Cardinals Minor League Pitcher Sean Gilmartin
McEnany is engaged to Sean Gilmartin, a pitcher in the St. Louis Cardinals minor league system.
Gilmartin was first drafted in 2008 by the Padres, but didn’t sign. He was drafted again in 2011 by the Braves, who traded him to the Twins in 2013. The Mets drafted him in the 2014 rule 5 draft. Gilmartin has appeared in 66 major league games, with a 4.14 ERA.
As MLB Trade Rumors notes, he ended up with the Cardinals on June 11 when the Mets designated him for assignment. The Cardinals claimed him and immediately sent him to Triple-A Memphis.