Kellyanne Conway can’t decide if Russian sanctions are ‘largely symbolic’ or ‘unprecedented’
Senior advisor to President-elect Donald Trump Kellyanne Conway seemed confused in her Thursday evening interview with CNN’s Kate Bolduan.
Conway began by saying that she’s been reading about President Barack Obama’s announcement that he’ll be putting sanctions on Russia. “Some of them seem largely symbolic,” Conway said. “The GRU doesn’t really keep its assets here. There’s no indication our allies will follow suit.”
She then cited David Sanger’s piece in the New York Times that alleges President Barack Obama decided to sanction Russia to “box in President-elect Trump.” She refused to say whether she agreed with the allegation, rather she repeated the allegation. Conway also refused to answer if Trump would repeal the sanctions once he is in office.
Bolduan seemed shocked that Conway was dismissing the sanctions and she would allege Obama was attempting to box Trump in.
“Do you think these very series and unprecedented actions that President Obama took today, expelling diplomat, sanctioning foreign intelligence service, you think President Obama did that just to box in Donald Trump?”
Conway clarified she didn’t necessarily believe that, rather it was what was in the New York Times story she kept repeating. Then she seemed to change her tune on the sanctions being “largely symbolic.”
“You are right Kate, it is unprecedented,” Conway said. “I don’t think at the height of the Cold War this country expelled that many operatives. So, I know the president is looking tough in his last couple of weeks.”
Conway also refused to clarify if Trump believes that the Russians attempted to hack the election, claiming that he’ll be getting his briefing sometime next week. Trump has opted out of receiving a presidential daily intelligence briefing.
“Ever since then the issue of Russian hacking has been discussed, in context, of the election,” Conway continued. “And that is where the president is saying we should move on. And we should move on because the idea that there is a nexus between the hacking and the election result.”
Bolduan interrupted Conway, to clarify that at this point no one is “questioning the election result.” But Conway insisted that’s exactly what is happening.
“This is serious,” Bolduan said, shocked by Conway’s claim. “This is about a foreign country hacking into the United States electoral process. Regardless, it doesn’t even have to do with the result, even. It is more that they tried to and did.”
Conway alleged that the 16 United States intelligence agencies were attempting to interfere with an election after the election was over.
“We are not in favor of foreign governments interfering in our elections or interfering in our intelligence,” Conway clarified. “But we’re also not in favor of our intelligence interfering with elections after the fact. You may feel that way Kate. You may run your shows that way. But the fact is in many different places, in print, on radio, on Twitter, on Facebook, ad nauseum people are trying to create a nexus and still trying to fight the next war. And it’s 52 days later. And that nexus is something that’s been trying to be proven at the fever pitch since November 8 and part of the why the president-elect says move on.”
You can see the full video below: