REALITY CHECK

Seth Meyers Confronts Kellyanne Conway Over Alleged Russian Efforts to Blackmail Trump

In her combative sit-down with the ‘Late Night’ host, Conway said Trump is ‘not aware’ of the report that states Russian operatives have compromising information about him.

01.11.17 2:14 AM ET

Over the course of her time as a spokesperson for Donald Trump, Kellyanne Conway has managed to both disarm Bill Maher and get tripped up by The View. So it was an open question how the president-elect’s spinner-in-chief would fare when she came face-to-face with Seth Meyers Tuesday night. 

Meyers jokingly banned Trump from appearing on his show last June after the then-candidate revoked the Washington Post’s press credentials for his campaign events. “I think it would be interesting television if he came on our show,” he said a few months later, “but it’s a moot point because it’s not going to happen.” 

For now, he’ll have to settle for the next best thing: Trump’s special counselor Conway, who has made a name for herself confounding those who try to interview her. And given Meyers’ relentless hammering of Trump both before and perhaps even more so after the election, she no doubt came prepared for one of her signature smiley fights. 

Fortunately, Meyers’ taping happened late enough that he was able to confront Conway over the bombshell report that alleges U.S. intelligence officials briefed both President Obama and President-Elect Trump on Russia’s alleged plan to blackmail Trump over “compromising personal and financial information.” 

“Well, guess what hasn’t happened, Seth, nobody has sourced it,” Conway said, a broad smile plastered across her face. “They’re all unnamed, unspoken sources in the story.” She tried to discredit the report by saying it originated with an Russian investigator, but Meyers corrected her to say that it appears to have come from a former British intelligence officer.

“It also says that groups that wanted Hillary Clinton to win may have been involved in the investigations themselves,” Conway continued. “And, most importantly, it says the FBI is trying to confirm it. So, nothing has been confirmed.” 

As an “American citizen” regardless of political party, Conway said, “we should be concerned that intelligence officials leak to the press and won’t go and tell the president-elect or the president of the United States himself now, Mr. Obama, what the information is. They’d rather go tell the press.” 

At that point, Meyers cut her off, saying, “But the report was about them going to the president.” When she pushed back, he added, “I believe it said they did brief him on it.” 

The first sentence of CNN’s report reads, “Classified documents presented last week to President Obama and President-elect Trump included allegations that Russian operatives claim to have compromising personal and financial information about Mr. Trump, multiple US officials with direct knowledge of the briefings tell CNN.” 

“He has said he’s not aware of that,” Conway replied of her boss, to which Meyers said, “That concerns me.” 

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When Conway shook her head, saying, “That’s not fair, and that’s not true,” Meyers asked if she was disputing the fact that he is “concerned” about Trump. “I assure you I am,” he said.

Later in their interview, Meyers cornered Conway in regards to a widely-ridiculed comment she made on CNN earlier this week about how the media covers Trump. "You always want to go by what's come out of his mouth rather than look at what's in his heart," she told New Day host Chris Cuomo. "So you think it's not important to listen to what he's saying?" Meyers asked her. "How can we know what's in his heart?"

"He expresses it—" she began, at which point he interrupted her. "He expresses it how?" Meyers asked. "Out of his mouth."