Kellyanne Conway Enjoys Pina Coladas, Threatening Less Powerful Women For The LULZ
The big rumor coming out of Washington this week was whether Donald Trump would replace serial confessor Mick Mulvaney as (acting) White House chief of staff. Reportedly up for consideration as Trump's next Disney villain henchman is White House counselor and professional liar Kellyanne Conway. Trump has denied this, but he lies more than Conway so who knows with him?
When reporting on the potential shakeup, the rightwing Washington Examiner suggested a possible obstacle to Conway's advancement: Her husband, George Conway, loathes Trump and is a frequent critic of the president he considers unfit for office. Kellyanne didn't appreciate that the article mentioned her spouse at all, even though he's a prominent "Never Trump" Republican. Just the other day, Trump called these "dangerous" Republicans "human scum."
Kellyanne Conway's assistant, Tom Joannou, called writer Caitlin Yilek Wednesday and asked that their conversation remain "off the record." Here's where things get tricky: I personally would consider the "off-the-record" conversation to include Conway, who took over the call "moments later." It's unlikely that Yilek and Joannou were having an entirely separate conversation unrelated to his boss. However, off-the-record discussions usually have some journalistic benefit to the writer, and Conway just called to verbally punch Yiek in the face for a while. So fuck her.
Yilek released the audio and transcript of her exchange with Conway yesterday. This seven-minute screed ranks as one of my favorite celebrity meltdowns, up there with Alec Baldwin giving the Glengarry Glen Ross treatment to his own daughter and Christian Bale chewing out the director of photography on a movie set. Just as the Buddy Rich tapes inspired some great lines on "Seinfeld," selections from the Kellyanne Conway recording will turn up in drag queen acts for years to come.
Kellyanne Conway mocks and threatens reporter for mentioning her husband (AUDIO) youtu.be
CONWAY: I know it's just for clicks, but you're going to have to give me, like, a journalistic reason here [for mentioning George Conway], especially if you admit that you just are repeating what another news source said and the president disputed that anyway. So, it's sort of, like, doubly embarrassing. There's no original reporting. If you're going to call yourself a reporter, let's see some reporting. There's no original reporting, and then, it's just lazy. Respectfully, of course, it's just lazy to talk about somebody's Twitter feed
George Conway's Twitter feed is more than just cat photos and live tweets of "This Is Us" episodes. He actively slams Trump and his administration. He even mocked Mulvaney's disastrous press conference last week. Kellyanne Conway insisted none of this was relevant because her husband is barely relevant. She literally said, "George's position is what?" as if he's just some guy who holds her Dalmatian coats at parties.
After a while, Yilek asks Kellyanne Conway if she'd like to speak to her manager.
YILEK: I would be happy to have you talk to my editor.
CONWAY: Um, yes, so, always, right, exactly. You're really going places. Let me tell you something, from a powerful woman.
Powerful people don't tell people they're powerful or have "powerful woman" tattooed on their thighs. Powerful people don't call up reporters at the local DC Circular and rip them new assholes. That's the sadistic pastime of bullies.
CONWAY: Don't pull the crap where you're trying to undercut another woman based on who she's married to.'
Yeah, what sort of lowlife does that?
Kellyanne Conway: Clinton accusers wanted to be heard www.youtube.com
CONWAY: [My husband] gets his power through me, if you haven't noticed. Not the other way around.
That's one of the worst things a human being could ever say. Kellyanne Conway has no problem breaking down the power dynamics of her marriage to some stranger she doesn't respect. But her sociopathy raises some questions. If George Conway only has the "power" to criticize the president because Kellyanne Conway works for the president, why does Trump tolerate it? He's not known for taking criticism well. Why hasn't he ordered Kellyanne Conway to shut her husband up or get another job? Trump went ballistic when the New York Times printed the "Anonymous" op-ed last year. How did Kellyanne Conway convince the mad king she wasn't the author when her spouse is dragging him on the regular?
CONWAY: You don't have to rely upon the men in your life and pretend somehow by way of reporting that I rely on the men in my life, which clearly isn't the case. Do you think you could have written in there, first, only woman, first woman to run a successful presidential campaign.
The candidate Conway helped elect was a man. She keeps trying to get into a women's studies curriculum on the basis of Donald Trump. And when she does, she might not like it.
CONWAY: Do you think you could have described me as somebody who wears red a lot, or is a mother of four, who has been here from day one and has survived all these other people?
It's true. She wears red a lot. Professional costume designers would consider that too on the nose. The four kids are with the guy she considers irrelevant. Then Conway started talking like she was a guest on Kelly Clarkson's talk show.
CONWAY: When I was young and starting in my career, I was in the friend-making business.
"But I lost interest in careless people after the summer Gatsby died..."
YILEK: I don't know that that is characterizing your feelings to say you are put in the middle if your husband and your boss are attacking each other.
CONWAY: When are they attacking each other? When did the president even mention his name?
George Conway is beneath the president's notice. That's what Kellyanne Conway's implying here, and it's a lie.
That was in March. George Conway suggested on a podcast just a couple weeks ago that the president's inner circle, which presumably includes Kellyanne, should all quit now that Trump's looking down the barrel of impeachment.
GEORGE CONWAY: If you can't have a positive effect on him and I don't think anybody can, yeah. I think the calculation they should be making is [that] he's going to be gone at some point and there's going to be a reckoning and history isn't going to be kind to people who said nothing or stood up for Trump.
Trump will likely expect his next chief of staff to "say nothing" against him and blindly support his ongoing treason. This is why George Conway is relevant.
The call finally ended with Kellyanne Conway straight-up threatening Yilek. She's too gross for "House of Cards."
CONWAY: So, listen, if you're going to cover my personal life, if you're going to cover my personal life, then we're welcome to do the same around here. If it has nothing to do with my job, which it doesn't, that's obvious, then we're either going to expect you to cover everybody's personal life or we're going to start covering them over here
Conway tried to clean up her mess on Twitter yesterday, but her usual obfuscations go only so far when she's caught on tape behaving like Bette Davis in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? As impossible as it is to believe, Trump is probably better off sticking with Mulvaney.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle.