Kellyanne Conway defends GOP gutting of ethics panel: 'Consumers' have been filing too many complaints
Kellyanne Conway (NBC News)

Kellyanne Conway denied that House Republicans placing the congressional ethics watchdog under their control had violated Donald Trump's campaign promise to "drain the swamp."


Conway, who ran Trump's campaign and now serves as a senior advisor, complained Tuesday morning on "Today" that the Office of Congressional Ethics had been "overzealous" in investigating "consumer complaints" since its creation in 2008.

"If a constituent has a complaint, they can still lodge that complaint," Conway said. "They just can't do it anonymously."

Conway said lawmakers and their staffers who had been investigated by the office complained that their right to due process had been violated, although she didn't offer additional explanation.

House Republicans returned to work Monday and set up the renamed Office of Congressional Complaint Review, which will deliver its reports to lawmakers instead of directly releasing them to the public.

"There's a new office, and this new office will really cut down on the overzealousness," Conway said. "There have been 100 complaints."

The independent office had referred 68 violations to the House Ethics Committee during its existence.

"The full Congress will have an opportunity to speak out on this and vote (Tuesday)," Conway said, although she wasn't sure whether the president-elect would comment on the measure. "He is not at the moment, (but) I'm sure that when he feels the urge to weigh in on something he certainly does."

Update: Trump weighed in later Tuesday morning in a pair of tweets questioning the timing and priorities of House Republicans, although he described the independent ethics watchdog as "unfair."