Watch Jake Tapper, Kellyanne Conway spar over Donald Trump's Gettysburg list of grievances: "He delivers his own speeches"

Pointed questions lead to a testy exchange with the campaign manager who's been hinting at a way out

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published October 24, 2016 2:58PM (EDT)

 (Screengrab via YouTube)
(Screengrab via YouTube)

Donald Trump’s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, was put on the defensive by a series of pointed questions about his controversial Gettysburg speech posed by CNN’s Jake Tapper during an interview on Sunday.

After Tapper asked if she knew Trump’s Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, speech on Saturday would open with a “list of grievances,” she initially deflected the question by focusing on the subsequent sections of the GOP nominee's speech before cryptically adding, “He delivers his own speeches. This is his candidacy. He’s the guy who’s running for the White House, and he has a privilege to say what he wants.”

In the speech, Trump attacked the media and his critics as being unfair to his candidacy: “They’re corrupt. They lie and fabricate stories to make a candidate that is not their preferred choice look as bad and even dangerous as possible,” Trump said.

“At my rallies, they never show or talk about the massive crowd size and try to diminish all of our events," he added. "On the other hand, they don't show the small size of Hillary's crowds but, in fact, talk about how people are there — very small crowds, you know it. They know it. Everybody knows it.”

After Tapper noted that Trump’s pledge to “drain the swamp” by imposing congressional term limits would have forced out of office his running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, when he was in the House of Representatives, Conway conceded the point before pivoting to praise for Pence.

"Mike Pence would agree with Donald Trump on that: When you're there for too long, you need that fresh blood and new perspective," Conway argued, adding, "I wish there were more members like Mike Pence. If there were, we wouldn't need to have the conversation."

Finally, when Conway brought up the Clinton Foundation’s acceptance of foreign contributions, Tapper observed that the public knows about those donations because the organization started by former president Bill Clinton with support from Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has released information about the contributions, whereas Trump has not done the same with his tax returns. "We have no idea what his ties are and where there might be moneyed interests and conflicts of interest because he won't disclose his tax returns,” Tapper said.

Conway replied by deflecting once again. "Here's what we do know: We know that, as he said yesterday in Gettysburg, Jake, he used to be an insider,” she asserted. “He's somebody who breathed rarefied air right up there with the Clintons and others, given his position, his power and his wealth and his great success as a businessman. And yet, that gives him the credibility and legitimacy to go and fight the system from the outside in. He knows how corrosive and corrupt it is."

Watch the exchange below:

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer at Salon. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022.

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Donald Trump Elections 2016 Jake Tapper Kellyanne Conway State Of The Union