Reporter accused of calling White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnanay 'a lying bitch'

A reporter appeared to call White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnanay "a lying bitch" after clashing with her at a news briefing on Tuesday (local time), but she denied that's what she said.

During the press conference, McEnanay dismissed a question from Al Jazeera reporter Kimberly Halkett about whether enough was being done by US President Donald Trump to curb "external sabotage" ahead of this year's election.

When Collins tried to ask a follow-up question, McEnanay dismissed her saying, "You've had two questions which are more than some of your colleagues".

Halkett is then heard muttering what sounded like "lying bitch" but claims she actually said, "you don't want to engage". The Al Jazeera journalist was wearing a mask, making it harder to determine what she said.

"There's a lot of misreporting out there about that briefing," she wrote on Twitter. "What I said was, 'OKAY, YOU DON'T WANT TO ENGAGE".

The Daily Beast news site claims it slowed down the audio from the briefing, confirming Halkett did say "you don't want to engage".

Another person wrote on Twitter, "It sounded so much like 'lying bitch', but I slowed it down and she clearly says, 'you don't want to engage'."

Many social media users have compared the audio to the 'yanny' or 'laurel' mystery that unfolded in 2018. A robot voice had people second-guessing their ears, with people divided over whether they heard 'yanny' or 'laurel'.