Desperate to return from the wilderness, Kellyanne Conway makes up her own reality.
White House counselor and “alternative facts” defender Kellyanne Conway was in the doghouse over her cooperation with “Fire and Fury” author Michael Wolff, but she scurried back into the spotlight this week to lie about Donald Trump’s failed attempt at damage control.
Trump attempted to quash concerns about his mental fitness with a 55-minute televised photo op on Tuesday, during which he could not manage to keep his own policy positions straight. That didn’t stop Conway from popping up on Sean Hannity’s show on Fox to insist that the stunt was a success.
Both Conway and Hannity lauded Trump’s performance, ignoring Trump’s gaffes and asserting that such a meeting was “unprecedented”:
CONWAY: Even some of his greatest critics in the media were flabbergasted, really stunned but appreciative, that this president held forth, on camera, for a full hour, with no filter, no script for anyone, just a conversation, bicameral, bipartisan, unprecedented in that way, in the Cabinet Room. […]
HANNITY: I saw a president in command of the facts, leading, opening up transparency like we’d never had before today, and that is what made it so fascinating.
CONWAY: It was, and those of us who work there see that every day on a regular basis. He really enjoys a discussion, he welcomes dissent and he welcomes discussion. This president takes many different inputs and ideas, and he makes a final decision. He was the one elected, after all. But I think what you saw on full display today is very similar to what we see on an ongoing basis at this White House.
Trump’s meeting, of course, was not “unprecedented.” President Barack Obama held a six-hour bipartisan summit on health care, on camera, and even spent over an hour taking questions just from Republicans at another televised event. Neither event featured Obama embarrassing himself, so in that way, Trump did blaze a trail.
Conway also insisted that Trump was “clear” about his position on the border wall, but at least one Republican senator didn’t get the memo, and Trump’s own White House staff knew enough to try to censor his bumbling.
Conway’s appearance vividly demonstrates the degree to which Trump is an embarrassing failure. When even your most dedicated propaganda minister acknowledges that holding a conversation for an hour is “stunning” and “flabbergasting,” it’s time to admit there’s a problem.