White House counselor Kellyanne Conway dismissed former FBI lawyer Lisa Page’s comments about how her life has been affected by President Donald Trump’s attacks as an act of self-pity in a Monday interview with Fox News.
Page, whose anti-Trump text messages to FBI agent Peter Strzok fueled Trump’s now-debunked conspiracy theory that the Russia investigation was politically motivated, broke her silence in an interview with The Daily Beast that was published Sunday.
Page told the outlet that she doubts that the Justice Department inspector general’s report debunking the conspiracy theory will “matter very much for a lot of people.” Page noted that Trump “tweeted about me four days ago” and condemned his “truly reprehensible, degrading stunt at his rally, in which he used my name to simulate an orgasm.”
“It's like being punched in the gut. My heart drops to my stomach when I realize he has tweeted about me again,” Page told The Daily Beast. “The president of the United States is calling me names to the entire world. He’s demeaning me and my career. It’s sickening. But it's also very intimidating, because he’s still the president of the United States . . . And I don’t ever know when the president’s going to attack next. And when it happens, it can still sort of upend my day. You don’t really get used to it.”
“I had stayed quiet for years hoping it would fade away, but instead it got worse,” she added. “It had been so hard not to defend myself — to let people who hate me control the narrative. I decided to take my power back.”
Conway dismissed Page’s comments in an appearance on Fox News.
“I can’t believe she actually thinks it is the president who has kept her quiet,” Conway said. “It sounds like she’s very rattled every time the president tweets something out. It sounds like she is very rattled in that interview.”
“She also suggested she was being harassed,” Fox News host Bill Hemmer interjected.
“Well, that’s the way she feels,” Conway replied. “It wasn’t the president who revealed that. It was The Washington Post who revealed that she was having a relationship with a colleague and that in their text messages that was part of what was revealed.”
“I honestly think she feels really sorry for herself,” she said, adding that she quit the FBI “voluntarily.”
As Hemmer wrapped up the segment, Conway interrupted to point out: “I’m not a woman who feels sorry for myself. That’s the message of the day. I hope my three daughters are watching.”
Page told The Daily Beast that she had been assured by the Justice Department inspector general’s office that her affair with Strzok would not be part of the investigation into her text messages but those details were leaked when the investigation became public.
“So now I have to deal with the aftermath of having the most wrong thing I’ve ever done in my life become public,” she said. “And that’s when I become the source of the president’s personal mockery and insults. Because before this moment in time, there’s not a person outside of my small legal community who knows who I am or what I do.”
She added that the Trump administration made matters worse by releasing several text messages that she said “were selected for their political impact.”
After that, she said, she was unable to stay at the FBI “for much longer,” because it was “very inhospitable.”
Page told the outlet that she is still affected by the president’s attacks every day.
“When somebody makes eye contact with me on the Metro, I kind of wince, wondering if it’s because they recognize me,” she said. “Or if I’m walking down the street or shopping and there’s somebody wearing Trump gear or a MAGA hat, I’ll walk the other way or try to put some distance between us because I’m not looking for conflict. Really, what I wanted most in this world is my life back.”