In a contentious discussion with CNN anchor Brianna Keilar, Donald Trump’s campaign manager Kellyanne Conway tried to blame the media and “particularly CNN” for Trump’s inability to stay on message and stop shooting himself in the foot by shooting off his mouth.
Keilar was hosting The Situation Room on Wednesday and was trying to get a straight answer out of Conway regarding Trump’s threats to imprison Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, which many election-watchers have deemed out-of-bounds and more in line with the political machinations of “Stalin or Hitler” than normal American democracy.
Keilar played a video clip of a former Miss Arizona named Tasha Dixon describing how Trump would hover around the Miss USA pageant contestants, barging in backstage when they were naked and telling his staff to make the women “fawn all over him.”
“You hear that,” Keilar said to Conway. “What’s your reaction?”
Conway said she has “no way of knowing” what went on in 2001 since she is Trump’s campaign manager in 2016 and was not associated with the Miss USA pageant.
The campaign manager got pointed with Keilar about what she perceives as an anti-Trump bias by CNN.
“The fact is that all you want to do, it seems, is talk about something he said ten, 15 years ago and, yet, we never, ever want to talk — particularly CNN where we offered up these women to you — we never want to talk to the women shamed and blamed by Hillary Clinton because they had sexual contact with her husband,” Conway complained. “Some consensual long-time affairs including in the White House and others, victims of predatory conduct. That somehow is not relevant. But Donald Trump on Howard Stern’s show is relevant.”
“We’ve fact-checked that,” Keilar responded. “If you go on CNN.com we’ve gone painstakingly through the claims you’re talking about and found that they were exaggerated. We want to talk about your candidate.”
The two got into a back and forth about Trump’s appeal to Russian hackers to interfere with the election. Keilar asked Conway if benefitting from the perfidy of Russian operatives is how Trump plans to “make America great again.”
“No. Of course not, and we would have no knowledge any more than you, Brianna, about the source of the hacking. We would have absolutely no knowledge. And when I see senior members of the Clinton campaign telling the New York Times and other outlets that they know who is behind this and who was tipped off by it, that’s irresponsible as well,” said Conway.
Conway said that the media is making a deliberate effort to distort Trump’s positions on issues that are important to voters, “national security, the economy, prosperity, job creation, education, health care, immigration. It’s corruption.”
“Kellyanne, you know if you give a speech as a political candidate and you want someone to focus on something, you don’t throw out something completely, you know, outrageous or inflammatory to take away from it,” Keilar said. “That’s not the media’s fault. That is the candidate’s problem.”
Watch the video, embedded in two parts below: