If it feels like you haven't seen Kellyanne Conway on TV in a while, you are not imagining things. The counselor to President Trump, one of the new administration's most visible faces, was pulled off the air by the White House, CNN's Dylan Byers reported Wednesday afternoon.
Byers added in a tweet that Conway's hiatus was temporary.
It has been more than a week since Conway appeared on television — an eternity, by her standard. The White House continued to trot her out after she coined the phrase "alternative facts," cited a "Bowling Green massacre" that never happened and promoted Ivanka Trump's products on Fox News, but apparently Trump could not abide statements that undermined the administration's official message.
Last Monday, she said on MSNBC that then-national security adviser Michael Flynn “does enjoy the full confidence of the president.” Less than an hour later, White House press secretary Sean Spicer contradicted her when he said that Trump was “evaluating the situation." Flynn resigned as national security adviser that night.
The next day, Conway appeared on multiple morning shows and said it was Flynn's decision to step down. But Spicer again contradicted her when he said in his daily press briefing that Trump “asked for and received [Flynn's] resignation.”
Earlier this month, after the “Bowling Green massacre” episode, CNN refused to book Conway on its Sunday political talk show but interviewed her two days later. Last Wednesday, MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski said she would not allow the former Trump campaign manager to appear on “Morning Joe” because “every time I've ever seen her on television, something’s askew, off or incorrect.”
The White House's problem with Conway appears to have been different from journalists' — it wasn't that she made false statements but that her statements were off-message.
CNN reported that the decision to sideline Conway was made by “the president and his top advisers.” That is not very specific, but it seems notable that the move coincided with the hiring last week of a White House communications director, Mike Dubke.
The addition of Dubke signaled that the White House intended to get everyone on point. Conway, for a while anyway, was not.