Kellyanne Conway was interviewed by Norah O’Donnell recently. The interview appeared on the latest broadcast of CBS This Morning. The interview included several topics of great interest to many Americans including her thoughts on her “alternative facts” statement.
The interview began with the revelation that Kellyanne has 24/7 Secret Service protection. Why? As O’Donnell explained, the protection “was granted to guard President Trump’s high profile, highly controversial White House counselor.” The two women discussed some of the events that have made Conway so controversial. One of those was this comment she made in response to criticism about her choice of dresses for Donald Trump’s inauguration – “Sorry to offend the black-stretch-pants women of America.” When asked who those women were, Kellyanne said,
“Well, goodness, walk through an airport, look at a lot of Americans today who don’t wear anything that snaps, buttons, or zips. But that’s okay. That’s their business. But why criticize what I wear?”
Then there was the photo taken this past Monday that spread across the internet like wildfire – the one of her on a sofa in the Oval Office on her knees. Many Americans found it disrespectful, and criticism flooded social media. To this, she said, “We’re constantly going back to where I sat, the presumptive negativity of what I wore or what I said. And I do think it’s a triple standard.” Asked to explain “triple standard,” she said that in addition to the double standard many cite for men and women, conservative women are subject a third standard.
“Conservative women are just cast aside many times by traditional feminist outlets and individuals who control a great deal of the media. I mean I can’t let the haters get to me or the president. What he’s doing here is so big.”
The interview then went beyond things related to her appearance when Kellyanne Conway was asked about some of the things she has said that have drawn a great deal of criticism. For example, her interview with Chris Matthews in which she said,
“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.”
There was no Bowling Green massacre. This statement by Conway was widely condemned and cited as an example of what many have viewed as what seems to be a lack of knowledge of the facts. And then there was her comment to Chris Todd about “alternative facts.” When asked about President Trump’s classification of attendance at his inauguration as one of the largest in history, a statement that was easily and quickly disproved, Kellyanne said,
“You’re saying it’s a falsehood, and they’re giving, Sean Spicer, our press secretary, gave alternative facts to that.”
Does she regret that statement? Did she feel like her Bowling Green massacre hurt her credibility? Her first response was that even asking the question presumes that it did hurt her credibility. When O’Donnell told her that she could answer the question with a no and that had presumed nothing, Conway said,
“Yeah, what, no, what, what people should do, what I’ve always done with others is look at the measure of someone’s career. I’ve been a pollster for two decades plus, and I’ve worked very hard to speak candidly and truthfully.”
So what are alternative facts? According to Kellyanne Conway, it’s “alternative information and additional facts, and that got conflated.” She then compared her statements to the embarrassing presentation of the Oscar for Best Picture to the wrong film, saying “things happen to everyone.”
The interview also included discussions about her family and her children. Kellyanne said that her children are the one thing that could make her leave the White House, saying that all the criticism and the comments on social media have been very difficult for them. Her husband also appeared briefly and said that the attacks on her do upset him, but that he also understands that it comes with the job.
So will this Kellyanne Conway interview help or hurt her admittedly shaky image with much of the American public? Time will tell. You can view the interview in its entirety below.
[Featured Image by Mario Tama/Getty Images]