When Kellyanne Conway was a pundit and Chelsea Clinton was in the White House, Conway said Sunday, she always treated the teen “like a Faberge egg.”
Now Conway is counselor to the president — one recently subjected to widespread mockery after she cited a nonexistent terrorist massacre in Kentucky in defense of Donald Trump’s ban on many foreigners.
And Chelsea Clinton, she said, is just one of her “haters.”
Conway appeared on Fox's “Media Buzz” in an interview that aired Sunday — three days after she complained on MSNBC that not many reporters had covered “the Bowling Green massacre.”
Although she later corrected herself, Conway’s comments inspired laughter, fake vigils and memes around the world.
— Matt McDermott (@mattmfm) February 4, 2017
Clinton joined in at the tail end of the mockery.
Very grateful no one seriously hurt in the Louvre attack ...or the (completely fake) Bowling Green Massacre. Please don't make up attacks.
— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) February 3, 2017
“She should leave me out of it,” Conway told Fox host Howard Kurtz, defending her mistake as “one word” in an interview that “got kudos and accolades” before the haters weighed in. “I have nothing against Chelsea Clinton, I always treated her like a Faberge egg when she was in the White House as a teenager. We’ll see if Barron Trump gets the same respect,” she added, referring to Trump’s 10-year-old son.
“There was no Bowling Green massacre,” Kurtz reminded Conway at one point.
“There was a plot,” Conway said. “They’re masterminds. I should have said 'plot,' and I should have said ‘terrorists.’ "
The masterminds she referred to were two Iraqi citizens from Bowling Green who had been convicted of trying to send weapons and money to al-Qaeda.
“I clarified immediately,” Conway told Kurtz. “I turn on the ‘Today’ show this morning, and I’m being attacked.”
“So you made a mistake. It happens to all of us,” Kurtz said. “But when the press makes a mistake --”
Conway cut in. “It happens a lot in the press.”
Like other White House aides and Trump himself, the adviser has attacked reporters at length over mistakes.
A Time reporter’s erroneous claim that Trump removed a bust of Martin Luther King Jr. from the Oval Office — a tweet that he quickly deleted and apologized for — became a focus of Trump’s first speech after Inauguration Day and his press secretary’s first briefing.
The White House was still hammering the mistake days later, when Conway interjected Time’s “falsehood” into an interview with Chuck Todd on NBC.
“It was corrected immediately,” Todd noted.
“But why, Chuck? Why was it said?” Conway replied — then brought the mistake up four more times before she let Todd complete a sentence.
On Fox, she elaborated on “the haters on Twitter” and their effects on her life, telling Kurtz she’d received death threats and had people show up at her house.
Many of her critics were women, she said: “Everyone pretends there’s some power of the sisterhood, but I’m pro-life, so that’s no good for them. I’m the first successful female campaign manager. I don’t talk about that.”
Conway linked her critics — and Trump’s — to the press, which she said was still in “denial, grief and anger” about Trump’s election victory.
“There’s never been a deep breath at some of these networks and cable stations saying: He’s the president now and we ought to cover him as such. We ought to show the respect and some deference to the office.”
Then, almost immediately, she turned back to the haters.
“Chelsea Clinton attacking me. Really, Chels?” Conway said. “Your mom said Texas and Georgia and Arizona were turning blue … and Donald Trump won!”
CNN reportedly turned down Conway for an appearance on “State of the Union” Sunday — though that may have less to do with the Bowling Green fiasco and more to do with the White House’s media war with the network.
Trump's administration has been attacking CNN since January, when the network scored an exclusive on a Russian intelligence dossier full of bizarre but unsubstantiated allegations about the president.
Trump refused to let a CNN reporter ask questions at a news conference before he took office and called the network “fake news,” as The Washington Post's Erik Wemple detailed.
Flash forward to Trump’s third weekend as president, when the White House is sending Vice President Pence to appear on every major news network — except CNN, the Huffington Post reported.
White House making Pence available Sunday to NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox — but not CNN: https://t.co/gj9dqUsi5A
— Michael Calderone (@mlcalderone) February 3, 2017
As a consolation prize, CNN’s Brian Stetler wrote, the White House offered Conway. The network declined.
Per a CNN spokeswoman: In lieu of Pence, the W.H. offered Kellyanne Conway for an interview, but CNN declined https://t.co/qVDgi5jWOa
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) February 4, 2017