Is Conan, the ISIS-hunting hero dog who helped capture terror leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, a good boy or a good girl? It’s a simple enough question with an answer that has flummoxed the White House and Defense Department over the past 24 hours.
Let’s go back to Monday afternoon, when President Trump and Vice-President Pence honored Conan at the White House. “The dog is incredible. Actually incredible,” Trump said. “We spent some good time with it. So brilliant and so smart.”
He went on to refer to Conan with male pronouns, which Defense Secretary Mark Esper had previously done, calling Conan a “tough cookie” and insisting that “nobody is going to mess with him.”
Later Monday, the White House corrected the record, telling reporters that Conan is a female. But wait! Within a couple hours, reports surfaced that Conan is in fact male. Some sleuths tried to circumvent the government entirely and figure out Conan’s sex themselves. The answer seemed fairly definitive. If Conan is a male, there’s something missing from this photo tweeted by Trump last month.
Conan, it seemed, is Con-anne. Critics accused the White House of misleading the public so as to not contradict Trump’s mistake. It wouldn’t be the first time.
The issue seemed settled Tuesday, when a reporter with ABC News tweeted that Conan is in fact a girl. But less than an hour later, she was told differently.