George T. Conway III, the husband of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, has made a name for himself by criticizing his wife’s boss in tweets and op-eds.
He is now taking his disdain for President Trump to another level, speaking out about him in a new podcast. George Conway said the Republican Party under Trump has become a “personality cult.” He said he would rather “move to Australia” than vote for Trump again. He declined to comment when asked whether the president is fully stable.
And for the first time, Conway explained why he refused to take a senior position in the Justice Department last year.
“I realized, this guy is going to be at war with the Justice Department,” Conway said of Trump during an interview with the Yahoo News podcast “Skullduggery.”
Early in the Trump presidency, Conway, a New York lawyer, was offered a top job as chief of the Justice Department’s civil division, a post that would have put him in charge of defending the administration in lawsuits.
Conway withdrew from consideration in June, saying that “this is not the right time to leave the private sector.”
In the podcast, he offered a fuller explanation, describing what he was seeing as “a dumpster fire.”
Conway said his doubts about serving solidified as Trump fired James B. Comey as FBI director and acknowledged in a television interview that he was thinking about the Russia investigation as he made his decision.
“And then I’m driving home one day from New York and it’s like, ‘Robert Mueller appointed special counsel,’ and then I realized, this guy is going to be at war with the Justice Department,” Conway said.
Until recently, Trump had remained publicly silent about Conway’s criticism. That changed last week after Conway co-wrote an op-ed arguing that Trump’s installation of Matthew G. Whitaker as acting attorney general was unconstitutional. Speaking to reporters about that, Trump referred to Conway as “Mr. Kellyanne Conway” and said, “He’s just trying to get publicity for himself.”
Asked during a recent television interview how she feels about her husband so frequently criticizing her boss, Kellyanne Conway said, “It doesn’t affect me or my job at all.”
“I’ve never been doing better personally or professionally,” she said on “Fox News Sunday.”
“I’m sure the feminists are really cheering me on today, an independent, strong — strong-willed, strong woman in a very powerful position that disagrees with her husband,” she added.
During the Yahoo podcast, Conway acknowledged that his criticism of the president can be awkward for his wife.
“I don’t think she likes it,” he said. “But I’ve told her, I don’t like the administration, so it’s even.”
“If I had a nickel for everybody in Washington who disagrees with their spouse on something that happens in this town, I wouldn’t be on this podcast,” he added. “I’d be probably on a beach somewhere.”
Conway also addressed his role in forming Checks and Balances, a group of conservative lawyers concerned about what they say is a violation of constitutional norms by Trump. Conway cited a September tweet in which Trump was critical of Jeff Sessions, while he was attorney general, for bringing indictments on corruption charges against two “very popular” Republican congressmen just before the midterms.
“I was appalled,” he said. “It was appalling. We’re talking about someone who has sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution and laws of the United States, and to criticize the attorney general for permitting justice to be done without regard to political party is very disturbing.”