Kellyanne Conway, a top advisor to President Trump, said Sunday that she feels empathy for survivors of sexual assault and dropped the bombshell that she herself was once assaulted—but that still hasn’t changed her belief that scrutiny against Brett Kavanaugh is nothing more than “raw partisan politics.”
Speaking on CNN’s State of the Union, Conway said, “I feel very empathetic, frankly, for victims of sexual assault and sexual harassment and rape. I’m a victim of sexual assault.”
But “I don't expect Judge Kavanaugh or Jake Tapper or Jeff Flake or anybody to be held responsible for that,” she said. “You have to be responsible for your own conduct.”
Conway’s bombshell about her own experience as a sexual assault survivor seemed to serve only as a springboard for her to jump right back into GOP talking points on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. In the next breath she went on to question the motivations behind calls for an investigation into allegations he committed sexual assault while in high school. She argued that the Senate’s handling of those allegations and the recently announced FBI probe were just part of “raw partisan politics,” complaining that victims and accused perpetrators are treated “differently” based on their politics.
While the allegations against Kavanaugh prompted women across the country to speak up about their own experiences with sexual assault to support Kavanaugh’s accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, Conway seemed to miss the point entirely of why they were speaking out.
“I want those women who were sexually assaulted the other day who were confronting Jeff Flake… God bless them, but go blame the perpetrator!” she told CNN’s Jake Tapper.
As for Ford’s allegation that Kavanaugh forced himself on her at a high school party in the 1980s, Conway said she was “glad she had her voice here.”
But she quickly went on to cast doubt on that voice, saying she thinks Kavanaugh and Ford “could both be right.” “Something terrible could have happened the summer they were both 15 and Judge Kavanaugh was not involved,” she said.
“Let's not compare Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby, and a few others, to what's happened here,” she said, adding that the Senate’s debate over Kavanaugh is not a “meeting of the Me Too movement.”
As for the right for sexual assault survivors to speak up, Conway said, “They should all be heard. And they should be heard in courts of law.”