Meet Kayleigh McEnany, the 29-year-old who left CNN to make controversial, pro-Trump videos as an RNC spokeswoman

Former CNN commentator Kayleigh McEnany, 29, made headlines on Sunday for her appearance in a pro-Trump video segment that was posted to President Donald Trump's official Facebook page.

It was not the first time McEnany had gone to bat for the president. She gained recognition during the 2016 election for frequently appearing as a Trump surrogate on cable news networks. McEnany immediately drew attention for her combative style and polished demeanor.

Throughout her tenure as a CNN talking head, McEnany got into more than a few heated exchanges with other personalities like New York Times columnist Charles Blow and CNN host Van Jones.

On Monday, the Republican National Committee announced McEnany will join its ranks, bringing a decidedly Trump-friendly tilt to the party apparatus. Here's what we know about McEnany, one of Trump's earliest and most vocal supporters:

Click through for all the facts you need to know about Kayleigh McEnany:

Meet Kayleigh McEnany: Business Insider
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Meet Kayleigh McEnany: Business Insider

McEnany was born in 1988 and grew up in Florida, where she attended the Academy of the Holy Names, a private Catholic school for girls.

She received a Bachelor's of Science in international politics from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service, and also spent a year studying at Oxford University in the UK.

She previously interned for a number of high-ranking politicians, including former President George W. Bush. McEnany volunteered for the Bush reelection campaign as a high school sophomore in 2004.

She went on to intern in Bush's White House communications office, and once escorted quarterback Eli Manning to the Oval Office.

After graduating from Georgetown in 2010, McEnany worked as a producer on former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee's TV show.

She worked her way up the network ladder, appearing more frequently as a conservative pundit on more popular shows over the years. The first appearance she posted on her Facebook page was on Fox News in 2011.

McEnany announced her support for then-Republican presidential candidate Trump in February 2016. Trump clinched the party's nomination that May, when his last opponent, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, dropped out of the Republican primary.

McEnany also went to law school after finishing her undergraduate work. She started out at the University of Miami School of Law and eventually transferred to Harvard Law School, graduating with a J.D. in May 2016.

In July 2016, McEnany got engaged to St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Sean Gilmartin.

During the campaign, McEnany frequently appeared as a Trump surrogate, most prominently on CNN, where she was a paid commentator who promoted Trump's platform and debated with left-leaning and anti-Trump commentators.

Throughout her tenure at CNN, McEnany became known for her contentious spats with multiple personalities and guests. In February, she had a heated exchange with New York Times columnist Charles Blow on "CNN Tonight with Don Lemon."

"Don't do that," Blow said when McEnany briefly touched his arm while claiming liberals and Trump critics had "sinister" motivations behind their objections to Trump. "Don't touch me and say that's your 'sinister motivations'," he said, as she deftly brushed aside his frustration.

In March 2017, she apologized on the air after falsely claiming that journalist Daniel Pearl, who was murdered by jihadists in 2002, died while former President Barack Obama was in office. McEnany said she had meant to refer to James Foley, who was slain by ISIS in 2014, not Pearl.

McEnany frequently sparred with CNN host Van Jones — particularly after the November election — with Jones often accusing McEnany of twisting his words and misrepresenting his statements.

McEnany has continued advocating for Trump's agenda since he took office, but on August 5, she suddenly left her job at CNN.

On August 6, she appeared in a pro-Trump video in which she touted all of Trump's accomplishments from the previous week.

Some, including former US ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, compared the segment to state TV that airs in places like Russia.

On Monday, the Republican National Committee announced that McEnany would be joining its ranks as a national spokeswoman.

"I am excited to be joining the RNC at such an important and historic time in our country," she said in a press release. "I'm eager to talk about Republican ideas and values and have important discussions about issues affecting Americans across this country."

Bonus fact: McEnany is a dog-owner and frequently tweets out photos of him. He is very cute.


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