Kellyanne Conway Battles CNN’s Stelter on Leaks, Trump Avoiding The Press: ‘Don’t Make This About You Again!’


Kellyanne Conway appeared on CNN’s Reliable Sources on Sunday for an extensive sparring match with Brian Stelter, who grilled the White House counselor on White House leaks, Donald Trump‘s erroneous comments about the Russia investigation, and why the president seems to be avoiding the press.

Stelter, whose marathon interview with Conway went on for more than twenty minutes, first asked the official about Trump’s tweets claiming the Russia investigation is a witch hunt. Conway dodged the question, pivoting to Trump’s accomplishments in office.

The Reliable Sources host moved on to press about leaks coming out of the White House, asking if any staffers have been fired, and after Conway took a swipe at the media for its coverage, Stelter fired back: “Why the constant attacks?”

“Are you really arguing there’s not that many leaks out of the White House?” Stelter asked.

“Yeah, I would argue that,” Conway replied.

“There’s been an unprecedented number of leaks,” Stelter said. “It’s shocking.”

The debate then moved on to Trump’s attacks on the press, with Stelter noting that the president is “tearing down our American media and other institutions in ways that are going to cause long and lasting damage.”

“Oh, don’t make this about you again! Oh poor media!” Conway snarked. “Oh poor you guys, the institution. You had a low approval rating before he became president.”

“I’m not saying poor media,” Stelter shot back. “We should recognize the flaws of your boss as well as his achievements.

Stelter asked if the prevalence of leaks is “exacerbated” by the absence of a White House communications director, a post that has not been filled since Hope Hicks left the administration. The CNN host pressed Conway if Trump intends to hire a communications director, to which Conway replied, “the president is a great communications director.”

The tense debate wrapped with Stelter grilling Conway on Trump failing to hold a solo press conference in for 400 days.

“He seems to be hiding from pressers and from interviews,” Stelter said. “He’s not even going on Fox very often anymore. Why isn’t he willing to give interviews?”

Conway contended that Trump is not hiding from the press, making sure to take a personal shot at Stelter: “Don’t be jealous of Fox & Friends and its ratings.”

Instead of giving interviews, Stelter argued, Trump “attacks CNN, calls the New York Times “crooked” and smears these news outlets instead. I wonder if 10 or 20 years from now you’re going to be proud of that? On a personal level.

“Will you be proud that he tried to tear down news outlets?”

Watch Conway’s response above, via CNN.

[image via screengrab]

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Aidan McLaughlin is the Editor in Chief of Mediaite. Send tips via email: Ask for Signal. Follow him on Twitter: @aidnmclaughlin