Kellyanne Conway blurs the definition of collusion to protect Trump

Kellyanne Conway says that Mueller isn't something to worry about

By Matthew Rozsa
Published January 30, 2018 10:42AM (EST)
Kellyanne Conway   (AP/Alex Brandon)
Kellyanne Conway (AP/Alex Brandon)

Kellyanne Conway doesn't want to talk about the 2016 election — except for when she brings up the 2016 election. But President Donald Trump's counselor can only cherry-pick what she wants to talk about, as evidenced in a Tuesday back-and-forth with CNN's Chris Cuomo.

After rattling off a list of Trump's supposed accomplishments, Conway and Cuomo got into a lengthy discussion about the ongoing investigation into Russia's involvement in the 2016 campaign — which helped Trump. Cuomo pressed Conway on the congressional sanctions — calling it a "bizarre event of untold unity" — asking Conway why Trump had yet to put them into effect, despite having time to talk about celebrities like Jay-Z.

Cuomo blasted Conway's reaction — a Treasury Department report — pointing out that they were "exact echoes" of a Forbes list and the population of the Russian government. Conway responded that the president was trying to work with Russia on the big issues of the day. At that point, Cuomo asked if this meant they weren't going to punish Russia for interfering in the election.

"What did they do in the election, Chris?" Conway asked.

"They interfered with this election and tried to disrupt our democracy and they’re doing it right now," Cuomo replied. After Conway asked whether Cuomo thought that was why Hillary Clinton lost, the CNN host insisted that wasn't the point.

"No, I don’t but I think you going there by default explains why there’s such resistance to doing anything about the Russian interference," Cuomo told Conway. "Leave it alone. He won. Punish them for what they did."

Later during the interview, Conway tried to redefine what it means to interfere in the election.

"Everybody who said Donald Trump couldn't win . . . Every anchor, every pundit who said, ‘This is over, it's a joke, he can't win, he can't govern’ tried to interfere in the election," Conway told Cuomo.

Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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