Kellyanne Conway, campaign manager for Donald Trump's presidential campaign, sat down with CNN's "New Day" co-host Alisyn Camerota on Tuesday morning, It was, um, very combative. Also, very entertaining. Using Genius, I annotated it. You can too! Sign up for Genius and annotate alongside me! To see an annotation, click or tap the highlighted part of the transcript.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Joining us now is Trump's campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway. Kellyanne, great to have you here.
KELLYANNE CONWAY, CAMPAIGN MANAGER, TRUMP CAMPAIGN: Thank you, Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: Who's been more transparent about their health, Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump?
CONWAY: As we know from this past weekend, clearly Donald Trump. We saw Hillary Clinton with our own two eyes struggling the other day. We certainly hope, Mr. Trump and I and our entire campaign certainly hope that she's well —
CAMEROTA: And she has said now that she was suffering from pneumonia. She got the diagnosis on Friday. This is all Mr. Trump has released about his health. Four paragraphs, as you know, from his gastroenterologist who says that Mr. Trump is — his health is astonishingly excellent. It also says that all of his latest medical examinations and tests were only positive results, which of course is funny because that means something's wrong, but that's not what he meant. So how can this be considered transparent?
CONWAY: Wow. You can laugh all you want at the medical report, but as far as I can see, there are two major party candidates running for president and only one of them has pneumonia and lied about it, especially to the press, because she always thinks that she has — she treats you all like second-class citizens, won't have a press conference, and when she pretends to have press avail, I'm going to be uplifting and aspirational (ph), then goes on to attack tens of millions of Americans the very next day.
CAMEROTA: But about health —
CONWAY: And then — and then — we all saw her by the van. But Alisyn, this is what I expect from the Clinton campaign. I really don't expect it from journalists. We're talking about Hillary Clinton and her pneumonia and what happened on 9/11 which we all saw with our own two eyes, and it takes us about ten words to get to Donald Trump. So he had a physical last week —
CAMEROTA: Because you are the campaign — yes. And will you be releasing the results of that?
CONWAY: Yes. He said he'll release them probably this week or whenever the doctor has the report prepared.
CAMEROTA: What exactly will he be releasing? His entire medical history, or just the results of the last checkup?
CONWAY: I don't know, but I'll tell you what he won't be releasing. He won't be releasing the fact that he had pneumonia for two days and lied about it.
CAMEROTA: Lied, or didn't disclose? Is there a difference?
CONWAY: I guess if we're talking about Hillary Clinton, lying and didn't disclose is so different, right? It's always parsing the words. Excuse me, respectfully, one person is off the campaign trail right now. We wish her well. We're glad that she told Anderson Cooper last night that she's feeling better, that she expects to rejoin the campaign trail. We'll see her at the debates.
But the idea that we shift immediately to the person who is keeping the most punishing schedule of any presidential candidate, it's unbelievable. He'll be in seven or eight swing states this week, five rallies. Just yesterday was in Baltimore and Asheville. Today he's on his way to Iowa and then Pennsylvania. Tomorrow's Ohio and another state.
So, in other words, Ohio, Michigan tomorrow. In other words, we can talk about that, but let's talk about stamina and energy. Let's talk about who's actually taking the case directly to voters and who's not. The idea that she did not have the worst 48 hours of her campaign, that people would cover up, I think is frankly astonishing.
CAMEROTA: Well, you're his campaign manager, which is why we're asking you questions about Donald Trump. We have people on from the Clinton camp and her surrogates and we ask about her.
CONWAY: And they talk about Donald Trump.
CAMEROTA: Look, for stamina, in terms of, if you're comparing stamina, they both keep up a punishing —
CONWAY: No, just talking about his.
CAMEROTA: They both keep up a punishing —
CONWAY: No, no, I'm sorry. Look at their public schedules. That is simply not true. She attends many fundraisers. In fact, that's why she was going to California. The minute Donald Trump dares to step in a state, Alisyn, that's either overly red or overly blue, the media, including CNN, run all these ridiculous stories out — why is he in a non-swing state? Is he really running for president?
She goes to California to Hollywood to raise money. She did it twice, is supposed to be there now, and San Francisco, did it a couple of weeks ago, then she went to the Hamptons, then she went to Martha's Vineyard, none of which are swing states, but that's okay. Is she taking the case to the voters? Where are her rallies? Pensacola, Florida, last Friday, 12,500 people inside, about 8,000, maybe 10,000 people waiting outside just to get in.
CAMEROTA: Let's talk about Donald Trump's tax records. When can we expect to see them?
CONWAY: When his lawyers and his accountants tell him that he should release them, when he's no longer under audit. He's made that very clear.
CAMEROTA: Has Donald Trump, or will he release anything from the IRS, a letter from the IRS, proving that he's under audit?
CONWAY: I'm sorry?
CAMEROTA: Will Donald Trump release anything from the IRS proving that he's under audit?
CONWAY: I don't know, why? In other words, why are you — are you calling him a liar?
CAMEROTA: Well we're taking his word for it.
CONWAY: Are you calling him a liar? And we're taking Hillary Clinton's word for that she was overheated and didn't have pneumonia, or that she's going to be aspirational, uplifting, or that she's going to start talking to the press again. I mean, seriously, we're running against a Clinton and we're going to challenge someone's veracity?
CAMEROTA: The founder of LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman, is offering to give veterans groups $5 million if Donald Trump releases his tax records. That sounds like a great deal for veterans. That's obviously a cause close to Mr. Trump's heart. Will this be an impetus for him, despite, we know what his lawyers have said, but the IRS has said that he can release it. They will not punish him. Lots of tax attorneys have said he can release it, he will not be punished. Will he release it now given this motivation?
CONWAY: No. But I hope that that man thinks so much of the veterans that he would give them $5 million whether or not Mr. Trump defies the advice of his lawyer and his accountant and releases his taxes.
And I also would love to tell you, Alisyn, and I’ve looked at CNN polling, everybody's polling, our own polling, I just can't find where this is a burning issue to most of the Americans. It goes back to what Hillary Clinton said. To be so dismissive of tens of millions of Americans also means that people — people around here and elsewhere think that somehow the issues that are vexing Americans are not economy, jobs, terrorism, health care, immigration, education. Exactly what we tell the CNN pollsters. Exactly what we hear in our own polling.
Why don't we have a discussion about that? We want to talk about taxes? What will our tax burden be under President Donald Trump? He actually is going out and given a 4 or 5 point middle class tax relief plan.
We'll be talking more about tax reform in Pennsylvania, very — actually, a very exciting aspect of it. Then he'll be at the Economic Club here in New York —
CAMEROTA: I think the issue goes to transparency. Look, the issue goes to transparency and if voters can bank on what they are voting on and knowing your candidate. For instance, Mike Pence, VP nominee, said yesterday that Donald Trump has given away tens of millions of dollars to charity, but investigations can't find his personal money that has — is in the tens of millions. Do you stand by tens of millions number?
CONWAY: Donald Trump has been incredibly generous over the course of his own life.
CAMEROTA: With his own money?
CONWAY: With his own money and his foundation’s money, which is his money.
CAMEROTA: No, the foundation's money are other people's.
CONWAY: okay. He's been incredibly generous. I mean, are we going to actually question — Hillary Clinton and her husband made almost a quarter of a billion dollars and we're supposed to just question — and that's okay. It's okay that —
CAMEROTA: But why isn't he a billionaire. Since Donald Trump has touted it, too. Why is that a shortcoming?
CONWAY: Excuse me? It's not a shortcoming. I’m a capitalist.
I just wish she would respect the hard-working men and women of this country who she thinks are uneducated rubes coming down from the hills with no teeth and long fingernails and just — you know, they need to be schooled by this precious woman in New York at Cipriani talking to people who are laughing at Americans.
Do we really want a president of the United States who laughs at Americans? I don't. I find it disgraceful.
I grew up around laborers and I respect the hard work today and I think her insulting tens of millions of Americans just because they don't have a Yale Law degree like she does, just because their husband doesn't make a half million dollars to give some speech for 45 minutes somewhere, just because they can't give mineral rights to their friends in faraway countries when they are secretary of state.
And the other part of her comment was also offensive. Let's talk about the other half of the half, Alisyn, saying people are, quote, "desperate for change". Boy, do I agree with her. Very desperate for change, feeling left behind economically. But who's been in charge of the economy for almost eight years?
CAMEROTA: Well, Donald Trump, part of why people are calling for him to release his taxes so we do know how much he himself has given to charity. Will you or the campaign release exactly what that number is? And the reason I ask —
CONWAY: I doubt it.
CAMEROTA: Why would you doubt it?
CONWAY: I doubt it, because this is like badgering. In other words, I don't see it as journalism. I see it as badgering.
In other words, we've had this conversation so many different times on so many different networks and yet we're not having conversation about what the middle class tax relief would actually mean for people's wage stagnation, a chronic problem —
CAMEROTA: But we do have that conversation at other times, but how is it badgering for the evidence of a claim? If Mike Pence is saying tens of millions of dollars from Donald Trump, shouldn't we see the evidence?
CONWAY: Did anybody ask Hillary Clinton for evidence that she was overheated and dehydrated? Is anybody asking her for evidence of why she thinks she's precious and special that she would have the secret service break protocol at Ground Zero on Sunday, Alisyn, and take her to her daughter's apartment rather than a hospital?
I mean, who are these people that there’s always a different set of rules for them, we’re always supposed to look at the other way. This network and other networks where presumptively protecting her and saying that she is fine —
CAMEROTA: That's not fair, Kellyanne. I mean —
CONWAY: She was overheated and dehydrated.
CAMEROTA: Anderson Cooper got the exclusive with her last night and press here —
CONWAY: She had to clean up her husband trying —
CAMEROTA: I just don't buy that that claim that is coming from the Trump campaign. We ask a lot of questions of the Clinton campaign but when you're here representing the Trump campaign, we ask these questions because you also can’t just keep make claims and expect everyone to just accept it. So the idea that —
CONWAY: I think Donald Trump's a very generous man.
CAMEROTA: Yes, and what's the evidence?
CONWAY: To have employed tens of thousands of people from many different countries, both genders certainly, from all walks of life, over the years.
CAMEROTA: Sure, but that's not charity. Employment is not charity.
CONWAY: It's pretty darn impressive and it isn't the political resume that his opponent has.
I would respectfully say, because we love to play a parlor game at Trump Towers, campaign headquarters, it takes the average Clinton surrogate or campaign staffer ten seconds or ten words to talk about Donald Trump when you ask them a question about Hillary Clinton and I can't blame them. If she were my candidate, I wouldn't want to talk much about her either.
CAMEROTA: But you are talking a lot about her.
CONWAY: You're darn right. So at least we hear about her today.
Transparency and trustworthiness are her two pillar problems, and she did nothing the whole last week. I think she had a terrible week. But she certainly had a terrible weekend. Not because she's sick.
Let me repeat. We're glad she said she's feeling better. We hope she's fully recovering and she comes back to the campaign trail soon.
But why all the furtiveness? Why the concealment? What's the big deal just to say, I have pneumonia and I’m on antibiotics?
And, by the way, why didn't she tell her running mate. What an embarrassment for him to come out. Tuesday I read, about 2:00 in the afternoon on "The Hill", he was saying, she doesn’t need to apologize for her comment. Was she not told that she had pneumonia? She was on — it's so odd that they can't let the running mate know what's going on. Why is that?
CAMEROTA: Should Donald Trump's running mate Mike Pence have said that David Duke is deplorable?
CONWAY: He should — sure. So that — so that he doesn't get headlines saying mike pence will not say Donald Trump is deplorable and people can get satisfied? Can people play the entire clip?
He clearly said on your network and thank you for playing that entire clip.
We don't want to support. We don't like what he stands for or people stand for in the KKK.
But there is — he’s got another point. There is a certain obsession about constantly raising issues and raising people that are not part of our campaign that we have said and Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, has said, we don't want his support. We don't want people like that. It's just unbelievable.
Will Hillary Clinton disavow — does she think Kermit Gosselin is deplorable? Who was killing black babies in Philadelphia? Does she think people saying that — calling cops pigs in a blanket and asking for their death are deplorable? I sure do.
And you can — we can go name after name. I'll sit here between now and Election Day. We won't get to the tens of millions of people Hillary Clinton was referring to by calling them deplorable.
She was referring to hard working men and women. It wasn't a gaffe. Please, print journalists, be a little responsible. Stop calling it a gaffe. She was reading it from prepared remarks as she always does. And she had said it before.
CAMEROTA: So, Kellyanne, are you satisfied with the level of transparency from your candidate?
CONWAY: I am. I’m very satisfied with it.
You know what I am satisfied with, that he is out there with voters every single day. They expect it. They deserve it. I travel with him once in a while, Alisyn.
The county fair he and Governor Pence were together in Ohio. It was astonishing to see people eight and ten deep at a county fair just to be able to say, you know what, they don't say may I have your autograph, I love you in "The Apprentice", they say, will you save my country? They say we need jobs in this part of Ohio. The say, "Thank you so much for making the sacrifice of running."
You know what I appreciate? I appreciate that I’m running for a presidential candidate who's not a politician, who did not need to do this. People in politics run for fame, fortune, status, he had all of that. He has all of that.
It's a tremendous sacrifice for he and his family to do that. And I think that's really one of the untold stories this year, it’s who thinks they've earned it, and deserved it, and it's their turn. Darn it, you better get behind me. I’ve got — I’m qualified.
You know what else is a qualification? Integrity and transparency especially when the press is asking, what’s wrong?
CAMEROTA: Yes, we are talking about transparency, a lot this morning, and demanding it from both candidates.
CONWAY: Thank you.
CAMEROTA: Thank you for being here.
CONWAY: Thanks for having me.