White House adviser Kellyanne Conway claimed in an interview released on Friday that she was assaulted at a Maryland restaurant in October 2018 by a woman apparently upset about the Brett Kavanaugh hearings, the Hill is reporting.
At the time, claims Conway, she and her teenage daughter went to Julio’s, a Mexican restaurant in Bethesda, Maryland, in suburban Washington, when she was confronted by an angry woman.
“Somebody was grabbing me from behind, grabbing my arms, and was shaking me to the point where I felt maybe somebody was hugging me.”
However, the woman wasn’t interested in a hug. As Conway told CNN, the “out-of-control” woman was filled with rage and anger. Conway says that, because her (Conway’s) teenage daughter was present, that the woman needs to “pay” for her alleged crime.
It remains unclear, as of this writing, what the woman said to Conway or what her problem with her was. According to a police report, the woman, later identified as Mary Elizabeth Inabinett, was upset about Conway’s political views.
“The suspect was yelling ‘shame on you’ and other comments believed to be about Conway’s political views.”
At the time, Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, was facing contentious confirmation hearings on Capitol Hill, as Dr. Christine Blasey Ford accused him of sexual harassment when he was a young adult. However, it remains unclear if Inabinett’s alleged actions were in any way related to the Kavanaugh hearings.
— The Hill (@thehill) February 8, 2019
Conway alleged that the assault lasted 8-10 minutes before her alleged assailant was escorted from the restaurant. Conway called the police, and Inabinett was arrested later and charged with disorderly conduct.
Her attorney, William Alden McDaniel Jr., says that there is nothing to the allegations of assault and that his client will plead not guilty.
“Ms. Inabinett saw Kellyanne Conway, a public figure, in a public place, and exercised her First Amendment right to express her personal opinions. She did not assault Ms. Conway. The facts at trial will show this to be true, and show Ms. Conway’s account to be false.”
Kellyanne Conway is not the first Trump administration official to have such an experience. For a while in 2018, being a Republican in public almost seemed to invite trouble. For example, in June 2018, as the New York Times reported at the time, Homeland Security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was accosted by protesters at a D.C.-area restaurant. Similarly, just days afterward, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders was kicked out of a Virginia restaurant by its owner.