11 of Kellyanne Conway's worst moments in the White House

1431

Kellyanne Conway will leave the Trump administration at the end of the month.

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway announced on Sunday that she's departing the Trump administration after more than three and a half years to "devote more time to family matters." The announcement follows public comments by her teenage daughter, Claudia, that culminated with her tweeting that she would be seeking emancipation from her family.

As she prepares to depart at the end of the month, Conway leaves behind a legacy of twisting and attacking the truth, defending racist remarks made by her boss, and breaking laws prohibiting government employees from engaging in political activities in their official roles.

Here's a look back at some of Conway's greatest hits in her role as Trump mouthpiece.

Alternative facts

Conway's assault on the truth began just days into Trump's tenure in the Oval Office.

After then-White House press secretary Sean Spicer falsely said Trump had the "largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period" to appease his boss, who was angry that former President Barack Obama drew a larger inauguration crowd, Conway said Spicer wasn't lying.

"You're saying it's a falsehood. And they're giving — Sean Spicer, our press secretary — gave alternative facts," Conway told NBC News' Chuck Todd on Jan. 22, 2017, two days into Trump's first term.

'Bowling Green massacre'

Just a few days after her infamous utterance of the phrase "alternative facts,", Conway again got herself into hot water when she made up a fake "massacre" to defend Trump's ban on travelers from some majority-Muslim countries entering the United States.

In an interview with then-MSNBC host Chris Matthews, Conway defended Trump's ban by saying former President Barack Obama had instituted a travel ban because of something she called the "Bowling Green Massacre."

"I bet it's brand-new information to people that President Obama had a six-month ban on the Iraqi refugee program after two Iraqis came here to this country, were radicalized — and they were the masterminds behind the Bowling Green massacre," Conway said. "I mean, most people don't know that because it didn't get covered."

No such "massacre" ever occurred — either in Bowling Green, Kentucky, or in Manhattan's Bowling Green park.

The New York Times reported at the time that the closest thing to what Conway was saying was the arrest in 2013 of two Iraqi citizens in Bowling Green, Kentucky, on charges of attempting to send weapons to al-Qaida in Iraq.

Hatch Act violations

Conway's penchant for lying to defend Trump not only hurt her credibility, but also led her to break the law numerous times.

A report by a government watchdog found Conway violated the Hatch Act, which "prohibits Federal employees from engaging in political activities while on duty," according to Trump's own administration, at least 50 times.

Conway allegedly violated the act when she attacked Democratic candidates from the White House grounds, as well as when she made the case for Trump's reelection from the White House.

Trump refused to punish Conway for violating the law after the U.S. Office of Special Counsel recommended she be fired.

Conway responds to a request to testify in Congress by saying she was being silenced

Democrats held a hearing in June 2019 about Conway's Hatch Act violations and asked her to testify.

She refused. Yet she accused Democrats of trying to "silence" her.

"They want to put a big roll of masking tape over my mouth because I helped, as a campaign manager, for the successful part of the campaign, I helped in many ways for the president and the vice president, who are our two greatest assets," Conway said. "By being on television, by being on radio, I helped, and they want to silence me now."

Conway demands to know reporter's ethnicity

In July 2019, a reporter asked Conway about Trump's racist attack on four Democratic congresswomen of color, whom Trump told to go back to their countries of origin.

In response, she asked the reporter, Andrew Feinberg, "What's your ethnicity?"

"Why is that relevant? ... My own ethnicity is not relevant to the question I'm asking," Feinberg replied.

Conway praises Trump because he doesn't 'sit around' and 'study' before acting

In September 2019, Donald Trump threatened to launch a military strike against Iran for allegedly attacking Saudi Arabia's oil supply, but never followed through.

His mixed signals on the strike led to accusations that he was sending an incoherent message.

But Conway defended Trump's actions, saying on Fox News: "It's so important to have a president who isn't a typical politician. Because he and his team don't sit around and say, 'Well, let's study it. Let's have a commission about it.' Secretary Pompeo went right out there and pointed the finger at the aggressor here, the Iranian regime."

Conway said the coronavirus is 'contained'

On March 6, just before states across the country began to close down to slow the spread of the coronavirus, Conway attacked a reporter who suggested the virus was not under control.

"It is being contained," Conway said. "Do you not think it's being contained? ... That's false. You just said something that's not true."

At the time Conway made that remark, just 83 cases of coronavirus had been identified in the United States, and only a handful of people had died, according to the New York Times.

Since Conway made her comment that the coronavirus was being "contained," more than 5.7 million people in the United States have contracted it, and more than 176,000 have died in the United States.

Other comments

Conway made numerous media appearances throughout her tenure in the White House, telling numerous lies and excusing Trump's racist remarks.

Those instances include:

  • Saying journalists should be "forced" to report positive stories about Trump.
  • Attacking people who were peacefully praying for victims of a mass shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh as "politically protesting with different messages."
  • Calling the impeachment trial against Trump an "abuse of the Constitution."
  • Claiming that the photo-op staged by Trump in June, holding up a Bible in front of a church near the White House, should not be called a photo-op, because "you're looking in somebody's heart and wondering, second-guessing why they would go over there." In fact, it was the definition of a photo-op, as Trump did not go into the church, meet with any of the church's leaders, or make any remarks.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.