Facts Matter: Trump's press secretary not secret child of JFK Jr.

  • John F. Kennedy Jr. and his wife Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy leave a party in New York in this AP file photo. A widely circulated Facebook post falsely claimed they were secretly the parents of former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany.

    John F. Kennedy Jr. and his wife Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy leave a party in New York in this AP file photo. A widely circulated Facebook post falsely claimed they were secretly the parents of former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany. Associated Press File Photo

 
 
Posted12/5/2021 5:30 AM

Former President Donald Trump's press secretary Kayleigh McEnany has been the subject of claims connecting her to Democratic President John Kennedy.

"We have the beloved Kayleigh McEnany who is believed to be one of four of JFK Jr. & Carolyn Bessette's secret children that were had behind the scenes," reads a Facebook post from earlier this year.

 
Kayleigh McEnany, former White House press secretary under President Donald Trump, is not the secret daughter of John F. Kennedy Jr. and Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy as a widely circulated Facebook post claimed.
Kayleigh McEnany, former White House press secretary under President Donald Trump, is not the secret daughter of John F. Kennedy Jr. and Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy as a widely circulated Facebook post claimed. - Associated Press File Photo

The post includes a photo of McEnany surrounded by photos of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, John Kennedy, Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy and John Kennedy Jr., labeled "Grandma," "Grandpa," "Mom" and "Dad."

But Kennedy Jr. and Bessette-Kennedy had no children when they died in a plane crash in 1999, according to Reuters. And McEnany has shared recent photos of her parents on her social media accounts.

McEnany's parents also attended her first news conference after she took over as press secretary. The May 1, 2020, event was documented in a Getty Images photo showing McEnany holding her daughter, who was 5 months old at the time, along with her parents and sister.

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Pilots didn't die from vaccine

An article making the rounds on social media last month said pilots who have received the COVID-19 vaccine "should not fly."

The story pointed to two incidents in which American Airlines pilots, after receiving their second dose of the vaccine, purportedly died while in flight. In both cases, it was flights out of the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, and the article attributes the deaths to myocarditis. It also mentions at least 12 other pilots who had nonfatal reactions after receiving the vaccine.

But nothing in the article is accurate, according to The Associated Press. The story has been shared on social media thousands of times.

The claims are "all false," American Airlines spokeswoman Whitney Zastrow told the AP.

The story originated in October on the RealRawNews site, whose disclaimer reads, "This website contains humor, parody, and satire."

In rare cases, some young men and teenage boys have developed myocarditis after receiving the vaccine, but the cases have been mild and the recovery time has been short, the AP reported.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Trump exaggerates gas prices

Gasoline prices shown at this Visalia, California, Chevron station in November are high, but a statement from former President Donald Trump exaggerates the differences in prices since his administration left office, CNN reports.
Gasoline prices shown at this Visalia, California, Chevron station in November are high, but a statement from former President Donald Trump exaggerates the differences in prices since his administration left office, CNN reports. - Associated Press File Photo

In a recent Fox News interview, former President Donald Trump made a point of how much the price of gas has increased since he left office.

"Gas was at -- gasoline, $1.83 or $1.86 when I left, a gallon. And now it's at $7.70 in California, in different places in California, and it's heading that way everywhere," Trump said.

But Trump overstated the price difference, according to CNN.

On Jan. 20, Trump's last day in office, the national average for regular gas was $2.39 a gallon, according to AAA statistics, CNN reported.

On the high end, a gas station in California had a regular gallon of gas priced at $7.59 in October, which "likely is the highest in the country," GasBuddy petroleum analysis chief Patrick De Haan told CNN. The average gas price last month in California for a gallon of regular was $4.70, according to AAA data.

At that California station with the high prices, there were times when a gallon of regular was more than $6.50 while Trump was in office.

Jill Biden video altered

A video circulating online shows first lady Jill Biden reading to a group of second-grade children in Maryland when a child is heard screaming an expletive at her.

"Kid shouts 'shut the (expletive) up' to Biden's wife -- during a kids book reading," headlines the clip posted on the BitChute website.

The video is real, according to PolitiFact. But the audio has been added.

The original video shows Biden talking about and reading from her book, "Don't Forget, God Bless Our Troops," while the schoolchildren quietly listen.

The child shouting was added to the clip. It was taken from a 2019 video of an actual outburst titled "Kid tells Teacher to Shut Up."

• Bob Oswald is a veteran Chicago-area journalist and former news editor of the Elgin Courier-News. Contact him at boboswald33@gmail.com

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