Dana Bash said it was supposed to be a “somewhat lighthearted” question. Kellyanne Conway did not take it that way.
Toward the end of a long interview during which Conway dodged question after question about her boss’ legal troubles, Bash asked her, “What is up with your husband’s tweets?”
Conway’s permanent smile began to fade ever so slightly as Bash explained that George Conway, a prominent lawyer, has been surprisingly critical of President Donald Trump on Twitter over the past year and a half. Many of those tweets have since been deleted, but one that remains on his account from March calls a report that Trump considered pardons for Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort “flabbergasting.”
After somehow working in yet another dig at Hillary Clinton, Conway told Bash, “It’s fascinating to me that CNN would go there. But it’s very good for the whole world to just witness that it’s now fair game how people’s spouses and significant others may differ with them. I’m really surprised, but very, in some ways, relieved and gratified to see that.”
Taken aback by Conway’s response, Bash insisted that she would have asked the same question if the gender roles were reversed. “No you wouldn’t,” Conway interrupted her, to which Bash replied, “A thousand percent I would.”
“You just brought him into this, so this ought to be fun moving forward, Dana,” a furious Conway said. “We’re now going to talk about other people’s spouses and significant others just because they either work at the White House or at CNN? Are we now going to do that? Because you just went there. CNN just went there.” When Bash said she wasn’t trying to be “critical,” Conway said, “Of course it was, it was meant to harass and embarrass.”
“By definition, spouses have a difference of opinion when adultery is happening,” Conway added, cryptically. “By definition, spouses have a difference of opinion when one is, I don’t know, draining the joint bank account to support things that maybe the other disagrees with. So this is a fascinating ‘cross the Rubicon’ moment and I’ll leave it at that.”
As Bash tried to ease the tension between them, Conway only ratcheted it up, accusing the anchor of talking out of turn about her marriage and even bringing her children into it.
“Kellyanne, here was my whole point in this, is that you are a professional working for the president of the United States and your husband is a very well-respected lawyer,” Bash told her, “and my point is that we don’t often see—in fact, I don’t remember the last time we saw—somebody working for the president in a high-profile position when their spouse is saying critical things about them. That is all.”
Of course, this being Kellyanne Conway, that was not all. “CNN chose to go there,” she said. “I think that’s going to be fascinating moving forward.” In her next breath, Conway was defending her boss for calling the wife of his former Deputy Director FBI Director Andrew McCabe a “loser.”