Trump White House advisor Kellyanne Conway stumbled on ABC’s This Week this morning when she was questioned by Jonathan Karl about people of color working in the West Wing. The topic came up in a discussion of the exit of Omarosa Manigault Newman, and how many African Americans were still in the West Wing. Conway couldn’t provide Karl with a name.
The Daily Beast said that Conway deflected, answering several other questions, but seemed unable to provide the host with the name of any other African American in the West Wing since the exit of Omarosa from the Trump White House.
First Conway started talking about Ben Carson, the head of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Karl reminds her that he’s asking about someone working in the White House, in the West Wing, and not a cabinet member.
Then Conway talks about someone named Ja’ron, whose last name she doesn’t mention, but she says he works in the East Wing (former White House aide Marc Short later clarified to ABC that Conway appeared to be referring to Ja’Ron Smith, who has an office in the East Wing).
As Conway seems to stammer, Karl asks her why there are no people of color working close to Trump.
“What does that say to have not a single senior adviser in the West Wing who is African American?”
Kellyanne Conway said that just because she can’t name anyone doesn’t mean that they don’t exist.
“I didn’t say that there wasn’t.”
With the anniversary of the Charlottesville riots and the conflict with Omarosa, there has been a great deal of talk about Trump and racism, says the Washington Post. Added to that was the negative comments about LeBron James and CNN’s Don Lemon. Trump called both James and Lemon stupid, and Lemon pushed back, saying that Trump was a racist.
“The president has called a lot of people stupid. Some of those people are white. But I would just like to note that referring to an African American as dumb — remember this is America — is one of the oldest canards of America’s racist past and present: that black people are of inferior intelligence.”
Lemon added that when Trump referred to Representative Maxine Waters as having a “low IQ,” he was continuing the narrative that people of color are inferior.
“Notice a pattern? The president constantly denigrates people of color, and women, too.”