No amount of frantic damage control or desperate spin can excuse or explain away Trump's defense of abusers or his own misconduct.
Trump’s surrogates were out in force to attempt to do damage control over the Rob Porter domestic abuse scandal this weekend, but they kept failing miserably.
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway threw everything she could think of at the scandal in a lengthy interview with “This Week” host George Stephanopoulos.
She tried to say that the White House took “swift action,” even though it was still defending Porter after photographic proof of his abuse had been published. She repeatedly tried to change the subject to dubious talking points about the economy.
But Conway’s biggest obstacle was Trump himself. She told Stephanopoulos that Trump had personally prepped her for the Sunday show appearances, and even when given three separate opportunities, was quite tellingly unable to say that Trump believed Porter’s accusers.
Instead, Conway resorted to attacking New York Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, whom Trump sexually harassed in front of the entire world not two months ago.
Stephanopoulos, quoting a tweet from Gillibrand, said “‘The president has shown through words and actions that he doesnt value women. Its not surprising that he doesnt believe survivors or understand the national conversation that is happening. If he wants due proves for the over dozen sexual assault allegations against him, lets have Congressional hearings tomorrow.'”
“Do the presidents accusers deserve due process?” Stephanopoulos asked.
Conway began with the lie that the “accusers have had their day on your network and elsewhere for a long time,” which is, in no way, due process.
“And I dont need a lecture from Kirsten Gillibrand,” Conway continued, “or anybody else who protected and defended and harbored a sitting president who had sexual relations in the Oval Office and was impeached for lying. I dont need a lecture from her or anybody else. And she since, of course, has said that President Clinton had resigned.”
She then attacked Democrats once again for failing to applaud Trump’s State of the Union address, which Trump called “treasonous,” and changed the subject to tax cuts and immigration.
But Gillibrand’s suggestion and Stephanopoulos’ question gets at the very heart of why this scandal is so impossible for the White House to defend.
At the end of the day, Trump isn’t just defending Rob Porter and every other abusive man he knows he is defending himself.
And no amount of frantic damage control or desperate spin can excuse or explain that fact away.