Scarborough chimed in to say that Conway “also said that this is just, like, my summer in Europe. This is like my vacay — I’m just doing it for the money. I’ll be off this soon. I don’t know that she ever said, ‘I’m doing this for the money,’ but she said, ‘This is just my summer vacation, my summer in Europe.’ And, basically, ‘I’m just gonna get through this.’ ”
After ignoring the hosts' comments for more than 24 hours, Conway responded on Twitter Tuesday afternoon. She said her "beliefs, commitments and loyalties are plain to see" but did not specifically deny making the remarks that Brzezinski and Scarborough said she made.
Conway, a pollster by trade, started the 2016 election cycle working for a super PAC that supported Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.). After Cruz dropped out, she joined the Trump campaign on July 1 and became campaign manager the following month.
Given that Trump was not Conway’s first pick — and given the nastiness he displayed toward the candidate who was her first pick (not to mention that candidate’s wife) — it is not surprising that Conway would gripe about Trump when the cameras were off. It is also possible that her feelings have changed since then, that Trump was an acquired taste.
Still, Scarborough and Brzezinski’s account adds to existing evidence that the people who speak for Trump don’t always believe what they are asked to say on his behalf. In March, I chronicled the way that Vice President Pence, White House press secretary Sean Spicer and deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders seem to distance themselves from certain claims but volunteer their agreement with others.
In briefings, for example, Spicer has offered his own supportive thoughts on a Republican health-care bill, Trump’s nomination of Neil M. Gorsuch to the Supreme Court and the president’s hard line on illegal immigration. However, he held at arm’s length Trump’s baseless charge that President Barack Obama tapped the phones in Trump Tower.
“My job is to represent the president and to talk about what he’s doing and what he wants,” Spicer said at a March 7 briefing. “I’m not here to speak for myself. I’m here to speak for the president of the United States and our government.”
Trump puts a premium on loyalty and on appearances. The “Morning Joe” anecdote about Conway is a double whammy. It creates the appearance that Conway is not (or, at least, was not) completely loyal to Trump.
This post has been updated to include Conway's tweet.