The Slatest

John Kelly Inadvertently Writes Slogan for Elizabeth Warren’s (Possible) Presidential Campaign

Elizabeth Warren shakes hands with a woman on a street.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren greets demonstrators protesting Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on Oct. 4 in Washington.
Jim Watson/Getty Images

“What an impolite, arrogant woman,” John Kelly described Elizabeth Warren in an email to a Department of Homeland Security adviser when he was the DHS secretary. Kelly was referring to a 2017 confrontation he’d had with Warren over the administration’s travel ban and the temporary restraining order that halted it.

“She immediately began insulting our people accusing them of not following the court order, insulting and abusive behavior towards those covered by the pause, blah blah blah.” In response, the adviser wrote, “Too bad Senate Majority Leader McConnell couldn’t order her to be quiet again! Warren is running for president so early, trying too hard, and chasing bad pitches.” The adviser was referring to Warren’s first moment of insult-turned-meme, when Mitch McConnell said, “She had appeared to violate the rule. She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted,” to explain why he was stopping her from giving a speech criticizing the attorney general nomination of Jeff Sessions.

BuzzFeed News uncovered the email under the Freedom of Information Act

Almost immediately following publication of the story, Warren’s Senate campaign was using the insult to drum up donations, and the phrase was being adopted on social media by progressives and feminists

And while Etsy is laden with “Nevertheless, she persisted,” merchandise, there isn’t anything yet for “Impolite, arrogant woman.” Just wait.