President Donald Trump isn’t the only Republican who has been railing against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi this week. Trump’s adviser, Kellyanne Conway, lashed out at the House speaker, telling Fox News that Pelosi “treats everybody like they’re her staff. She treats me like I’m either her maid or her driver or her pilot or her makeup artist driver, and I’m not.” The 52-year-old New Jersey native went on to denounce Pelosi as anti-woman, insisting, “She’s not very pro-woman. She’s pro-some women, a few women.”
Conway’s characterization of Pelosi as a tyrannical anti-feminist who throws her weight around and could care less what anyone else says or thinks is laughable in light of how diplomatic Pelosi has been not only with Republicans, but also, with fellow Democrats she disagrees with. Pelosi’s even-handed approach as House speaker has been one of give and take, not “my way or the highway.” For example, Pelosi clearly wasn’t happy about Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s “impeach the motherfucker” comment, but Pelosi said that while she “wouldn’t use that language” herself, she was “not in the censorship business.” Pelosi couldn’t oversee such a broad group of Democrats in the House if she didn’t have a give-and-take approach.
But then, Conway’s audaciousness is part of what makes her such a brazen, tireless cheerleader for Trump. Conway, much like Trump himself, is thoroughly irreverent and totally unapologetic about it.
Here are some of the most over-the-top things Conway has said or done along the way.
1. Conway popularized the term ‘alternative facts’
During debates, Conway can make a person’s head spin—which is exactly the point. She wants to frustrate and overwhelm her opponent. On January 22, 2017, NBC’s Chuck Todd aggressively questioned Conway about White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer exaggerating the number of people in attendance at Trump’s inauguration—and she asserted that Spicer was simply stating “alternative facts.” Todd responded that “alternative facts are not facts. They’re falsehoods.” But thanks to Conway, the Orwellian term “alternative facts” became the butt of jokes in political conversations.
2. Conway claimed that Barack Obama ‘pitted the whites against the blacks’
When Barack Obama was president, one would sometimes hear a conversation on liberal/progressive African-American talk radio along these lines: a caller would claim that Obama wasn’t paying enough attention to black issues, and the host would respond that Obama wasn’t strictly an advocate for African-Americans—he had to reach a diverse spectrum of voters in order to advance his policies on health care and education. But in a 2017 interview with the Atlantic’s Molly Ball, Conway denounced Obama as a divisive figure who “pitted the whites against the blacks.”
Conway claimed, “If something happened to a black person, he and his wife were right there. But if something happened to a white person, you never saw them, did you?” Conway’s assertion that Obama was anti-white was ludicrous: Obama, who was raised by a white mother and married a black women, is about as multicultural as it gets. But Conway’s ability to claim that Obama wanted to see blacks and whites at each other’s throats and say it with a straight face shows just how fearlessly audacious she is.
3. Conway once called Trump ‘fairly unpresidential’—before joining his campaign
During the 2016 GOP presidential primary—before Trump won the nomination—Conway represented Trump’s arch-rival: Sen. Ted Cruz. And she was critical of Trump at the time, describing him as “fairly unpresidential” and insisting that Cruz would make a much better candidate for the GOP. Conway attacked Trump as someone who “actually built a lot of his business on the backs of the little guy.” But after Cruz dropped out of the race, Conway flip-flopped. Joining Trump’s campaign, she went from calling him “unpresidential” to being one of his most aggressive champions.
4. Conway claimed that Michael Flynn had Trump’s ‘full confidence’—the day Flynn resigned in disgrace
On February 13, 2017, the Trump Administration’s national security adviser, Michael Flynn, resigned in disgrace following reports of his inappropriate communications with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. But only a few hours before Flynn’s resignation, Conway insisted that Flynn had Trump’s “full confidence.” It was an embarrassment. And following the Flynn debacle, conservative Joe Scarborough and liberal Mika Brzezinski of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” chose to ban Conway from that program because she lacked credibility—asserting that continuing to have her on as a guest would make “Morning Joe” looked bad. Scarborough complained, “She goes out and lies, and you find out about those lies a couple hours later.”
5. Conway urged Americans to purchase Ivanka Trump’s clothing products
During a February 2017 appearance on Fox News’ “Fox and Friends,” Conway urged Americans to purchase Ivanka Trump’s clothing products—telling co-host Steve Doocy that Americans should “go buy Ivanka’s stuff” because she had a “wonderful line.” Ivanka Trump, of course, is the president’s daughter, and Conway’s endorsement of her clothing line raised serious ethics questions. Even far-right Utah Republican Jason Chaffetz (who chaired the House Oversight Committee at the time) denounced that product endorsement as “wrong, wrong, wrong” and “wholly unacceptable.”
Dalai Lama says President Trump has a ‘lack of moral principle’
During an interview with the BBC’s Rajini Vaidyanathan, the Dalai Lama weighed in on everything from Donald Trump’s presidency to Brexit — and the Tibetan spiritual leader clearly isn’t a fan of Trump’s isolationist views.
“When he became president, he expressed, ‘America first.’ That is wrong,” the Dalai Lama told Vaidyanathan. “America, they should take the global responsibility.”
The Dalai Lama also described the U.S. president as scatterbrained, saying that his “emotions” are a “little bit too complicated.”
Fox News mocks Beto O’Rourke’s debate performance: He looked ‘as miserable as a dog in a thunderstorm’
Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-TX) did his best to stand out at the first Democratic debate on Thursday night, breaking into fluent Spanish in his opening segment and competing with fellow Texan Julián Castro for the spotlight.
But the morning crew at Fox News was not impressed by his performance, lambasting him for looking "miserable."
"Neediness can be charming in a candidate to a certain degree," said political analyst Chris Stirewalt. "Especially for Castro, who couldn’t speak Spanish as well as his fellow Texan, Beto O'Rourke."
"O'Rourke, though — no matter what language he was doing, he seemed sad. He seemed unhappy. He seemed uncomfortable to be there," said Stirewalt. "He seemed like he was doing this all through a prism of real social discomfort, and I don't know what happens for him from here. He, of anybody on the stage, needed that night to get back into the second tier to show that he was doing it, and he looked as miserable as a dog in a thunderstorm."
First Democratic debate: Elizabeth Warren persists — but Julián Castro is the star
With two dozen candidates announced and the possibility of ousting Donald Trump in the 2020 elections on voters' brains, the anticipation for the first of many Democratic primary debates, held in Miami on Wednesday night, was at a high pitch. But that can only be matched by the cynicism of our era. It was worth wondering whether, despite all the hype, this debate could even matter?
Good news, for once: The answer is yes.
Because most voters just vote for whoever their party nominates, debates don't matter "once we get to the general," University of Wisconsin political science professor Kenneth Mayer recently told Salon in a video interview.