The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Transcript: White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway

Placeholder while article actions load

MS. SELLERS: Good afternoon and welcome to Washington Post Live. I’m Frances Stead Sellers, a senior writer at The Washington Post. My guest this afternoon is Kellyanne Conway, a senior counselor to the president. She was one of his senior campaign managers in 2016, and a speaker at last night’s Republican Convention. Welcome, Kellyanne. Thank you for joining us.

MS. CONWAY: Thank you so much, Frances. I appreciate it.

MS. SELLERS: Well, we're pleased to have you. So, let's start with the big picture. You're an expert on voters. How can President Trump bring more people into the tent?

MS. CONWAY: He's been doing that by enacting policies and making the tough choices and tackling the complex problems that really affect all Americans. When you recalibrate a trade deal and put it into better balance for American workers and American manufacturing in America herself, that lifts many different economic boats. So if you look at the four or five major trade deals he's been able to complete--one with South Korea, obviously, China, Mexico, and certainly Canada in the USMCA, the old NAFTA, much better now, and of course even one with Japan--you're talking about dairy farmers, meat producers, auto manufacturers, many different industries that were flat on their backs. And we were really shipping wealth and jobs overseas for quite a few years, and this helped. So that helps many people.

Also, when the president created a booming economy, he--you saw the historic numbers of unemployment. Everybody knows the numbers. He'll talk about them tonight. But the fact is that that economy--only the person who created that economy can reduce that economy, and he's working on that.

Also, you know, when the president talks about school choice and education freedom and opportunity scholarships the way the vice president talked last night, and a number of us continue to fight for, that is an area that is in stark contrast to the other side, where you've had the last two Democratic presidents be against D.C. Opportunity Scholarships which help communities of color most of all, help these kids have a better chance, just a different choice for their parents to put them in a school that serves their needs better. They should not be--they should not be restricted by their ZIP code, their socioeconomic status to help decide where they can go to school. And so, when this president says education freedom, let the money follow the child, that is very beneficial as well.

I think, Frances, having the NATO countries commit to over $130 billion additional for providing for the common defense through NATO is a huge achievement that only this president could have done. And of course, over $400 billion of a commitment going into the future. So, there are many ways he's done that.

I also think that the attacks and the invective that we heard in the Democratic National Convention have been really minimized. They've been in a much lower level, lower volume in this Republican National Convention. We have been showing people the Maine lobsterman, the logger from the Midwest, certainly the dairy farmer from Wisconsin, the folks who have been pardoned by Donald Trump, or frankly have stopped languishing in prison long after they paid their debt to society, or languishing on drugs long after they first sought help. So, it's been a president who's trying to work for all people. And I think in 47 months he's been able to show what he can do much more than Joe Biden in 47 years.

We were hit by a once-in-a-century global pandemic, a dual medical and financial crisis. And I can tell you that beginning in February, we were working around the clock in the White House on that seven days a week, including the president. And surging supplies, cutting off travel from China, and then Europe on March 11th, very big deal. There's no evidence that other leaders would have done that. In fact, the other guy who wants to be the president said it was xenophobic.


MS. CONWAY: So even nonpartisan experts said that helped save many lives. And now just finally, we're on the fast track, Operation Warp Speed, to develop therapeutics, and indeed, six different vaccines, Frances, many of which are in the final clinical trials phases, because we're trying to mitigate the damage of COVID-19 on the way to eradicating it through a vaccine.

MS. SELLERS: And the path now, though, talking about the convention, Tuesday night had a very big focus on women. Is the path through women, the suburbs? Where do you see his path is taking him now?

MS. CONWAY: Well, women live everywhere, and they care about 100 percent of the issues. We are 53 percent of the electorate. We care about 100 percent of the issues. And the one phrase that I've never really understood and that I reject out of hand is, quote, "women's issues." You know, in 30 years of doing this I've never heard the phrase men's issues. And the reason you don't hear about men's issues is the idea is that men can handle all the issues. They can talk about war and foreign policy and national security. They can talk about trade deals and the G-7 Summit and they can discuss energy policy internationally, but maybe women should just handle the healthcare and Social Security and abortion and kids' stuff.

And that's pretty insulting to women. And I think that's why in large part you don't hear--at this convention what I heard in all the past conventions from the Democrats, which is a woman's right to choose, abortion, abortion, women's right to choose. It was conspicuous by its absence last week, even though they've already been endorsed by Planned Parenthood. And I think part of that is, our culture has shifted. People are very uncomfortable with the Democratic Party platform, including many women, very uncomfortable with the Democratic Party platform that is so rigid and unforgiving that it basically says abortion, anyone, anytime, anywhere, no restrictions, no regulations, even though we have people surviving outside of the womb at 24-25 weeks and going on to have a healthy life. We have people really wrestling with the science and the medicine that they see in front of them and recognizing that abortion the 7th, 8th, 9th month is not really where they are even though they call themselves pro-choice. So that's a--

MS. SELLERS: Kellyanne--

MS. CONWAY: So that's [unclear]. Look, for women, women--seeing is the first step toward believing. This is a president who has elevated women in business and in government for decades. But beyond that, his policies have helped women. I call him the healthcare president because he took action on preexisting conditions recently, has committed that his healthcare plan will cover--and I've seen the beginnings of that, actually the middle of that, and it will.

He also has reformed the way seniors pay for insulin, $35 maximum co-pay. His surprise medical billing and price transparency moves really benefit so many women. Women are the healthcare consumers of the household. We control roughly two out of every three healthcare dollars in this country.

MS. SELLERS: Kellyanne--

MS. CONWAY: We're the healthcare consumers and the healthcare providers. So, I think that's attractive to women.

MS. SELLERS: Let me ask you about your speech last night. You talked about how President Trump--and you've referred to it just now--how he's empowered women. And that goes back--I can think of many businesspeople who have talked about his personal acts of kindness that they've remembered. How does that relate to his actions as a president?

MS. CONWAY: Well, it relates because, you know, with the gravity and responsibility of that job, and even at a staff level, must come certain humility. And the humility comes in understanding, as I said last night, that it's so easy in America today, Frances, to focus on those who have so much more than us. But our responsibility is to focus on those who have far less than us. And he has done that time and again, really giving people a hand-up and a second chance. And I believe that him taking a chance on different people and feeling comfortable with female leadership, with female advice is--it's very refreshing, particularly in the Republican Party, but it's refreshing for the country to know that you have a president for whom that's just a regular workday.

I also think that it means he takes the counsel of people whose experiences are much more relatable to the population that he's serving. This is the president who as a candidate promised to help the forgotten man, forgotten woman, and I would add forgotten child, and has made very good on that promise.

You know, Donald Trump is an outsider. He's the first president in American history to have neither former political nor military experience. And he really fit the bill of what Americans were telling pollsters for a very long time, Frances, which is, I want somebody who has a ton of experience who's never held political office. And it was like, oh, who will that be? How are we going to find that person? It turns out they wanted somebody who had business experience, who came to Washington owing nobody anything, who wasn't part of not just the swamp as they call it, but really a system that had excluded most Americans, where they feel like they had their nose pressed up against the glass looking in saying, when is my turn, where's my opportunity, where's my peace and prosperity.

And he really feels very committed to the people who relied upon them. I know people derisively call them the base, and occasionally deplorables and redeemables--irredeemables, but that means they're missing--they're missing the zeitgeist that Donald Trump has created and tapped into, in that you have people who otherwise never voted before and never voted Republican before--the coalminers, those in the fracking industry, obviously people who are in manufacturing, people who appreciate these trade deals, people who appreciate criminal justice reform, the drug crisis strides.

And even though he's talking to direct stakeholders as voters, we also are always looking at the concentric circles of the stakeholder and the shareholders. I say that you could be somebody who feels your issues are well-taken care of, but you're really concerned for the family across the street, or the nephew you have is trying to start his business, or the goddaughter you have who doesn't understand how she's going to grapple with this virtual learning now and what that really means.

And so, we look at people--he's trying to be the president for all Americans, and the volume and velocity with which he works is head spinning. And I think his speech tonight--I know his speech tonight, it's going to lay out the progress report. It also had the vision piece for the future.

MS. SELLERS: Let me ask you quickly about a group I know you care very much about, and that's about the opioid crisis. Deaths went up actually last year by 4 percent, and they seem to have gone up even more this year during the pandemic. How would you like to see President Trump do things differently next year if he got a second term?

MS. CONWAY: Yeah, so those numbers, after we had the first decline in 30 years, are harrowing, but they're unsurprising, Frances, because we're now fully into a poly-drug crisis in this country. Brett Giroir, who is otherwise known as the testing czar now, but the assistant secretary for health and others, we fully know that we are into the fourth wave of this drug crisis through meth, that meth use has really increased. So opioid use, down; but the meth use, up. And I think what the president has done suggests that his bold leadership means that so many lives were saved. And I said last night that the political inertia and the looking the other way that costs lives is slowly melting away.

I'm really happy. I think the most significant bipartisan legislation that the president passed short of the CARES Act, which is a special piece of legislation, was the SUPPORT Act. And that was signed into law almost two years ago. Do you know every single Democrat in the Senate and House who voted, voted in favor of the SUPPORT Act? That included Kamala Harris, it included Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Corey Booker. And what's so striking about that is it's an historic investment of billions in treatment, in recovery, in prevention, education. So, I think we have to keep going that way in reducing these first prescriptions to a smaller dose, a smaller amount and making sure people [unclear] and making sure they've got money for recovery.

MS. SELLERS: Kellyanne--

MS. CONWAY: But moving forward, I think we also have to recognize that in this pandemic we can't create a pandemic within a pandemic. We see suicides are up, abuses of all kinds are up, including drug abuse, isolation, economic desolation. People are hurting, and many are taking extreme actions.

MS. SELLERS: Kellyanne--

MS. CONWAY: So, the president has to stick with us. And I think what you'll see in a second term is the president holding these foreign countries even more to account.

MS. SELLERS: Kellyanne, can I ask you as well about--


MS. SELLERS: You have the president's ear in a way that many people don't. Is he pleased with the convention activities? Has he confided with you about how it's going?

MS. CONWAY: He's highly pleased. I took probably my first--my last ride for now in Marine One with the president and the first lady last night. We went to Fort McHenry together to watch the vice president deliver his remarks. And we talked a great deal. Well, we talked about many things. We talked about the convention particularly. We always wanted this to be the people's convention. I'm one of a small team that has had some visibility into and authority over the State of the Union guests for the last four years. Frances, no guest has ever leaked. And people, even the hardest naysayers and critics have said, wow, those have been successful events because the president has been able to illustrate his agenda, his vision, his promises through the American people, through these stories. So, it was very similar to the State of the Union, but this time the people aren't just sitting in the box with the first lady, they're speaking and they're talking about how their lives are measurably impacted because of the Trump-Pence administration. So, he likes it for that reason.

MS. SELLERS: So, let me ask you, Kellyanne--

MS. CONWAY: He also likes the production value. He knows that--you know, the Democrats in Hollywood and the actors and all the entertainers, but the production value has been incredible. To see the first lady, Melania Trump, deliver almost a 30-minute speech in the Rose Garden was pretty historic, and the president tonight on the South Lawn of the White House doing the same, it's been truly remarkable. He's very pleased.

MS. SELLERS: One of the striking events during this was the swearing in of five new citizens, all of them people of color. This happened at a time when the president has also reduced legal immigration by something like 49 percent according to some statistics. Did that seem a little hypocritical?

MS. CONWAY: I'm really happy that the president can show America a naturalization ceremony. Most Americans probably have never witnessed one or seen one or even heard about one, I would think. So that's wonderful for that to have a light shined on it during a convention week, Frances. But I think there are people who otherwise don't tune into political rallies or political coverage of the nightly shows, they're watching these conventions very carefully because they want to make their choice. So, I'm very pleased that they can see just from a cultural perspective.

Now I do--I do want to say when it comes to immigration, it was really remarkable for me this past February to watch Joe Biden really try to put a lot of daylight and distance between him and the boss he served, President Obama, who at the time was putting a fair amount of distance and daylight between him and his vice president, Joe Biden. But he did that on the issue of immigration because Joe Biden showed up at a rally--excuse me, at a debate, and people were mocking him, "You were deporter-in-chief." You guys had record number of deportations. People forget that. This is a president who has created an economy, will continue to create--rebuild this economy. We have tremendous job creation now. And he wants that to be available to people all over the country. But we're the most generous country to immigrants in the world. Over 33 million have come here legally, and we want to continue to encourage that.

At the same time, we know that many Americans are struggling to find work. There are jobs and businesses that Americans held that will never come back, that type of industry, that particular restaurant, and the like. And we're very sensitive to that as well.

But this president will continue to fight for final and fair border security and merit-based immigration. He's made that very clear, and will again tonight.

MS. SELLERS: Kellyanne, a number of the incidents you've referred to, the events of the convention, including the swearing in, the Rose Garden speech, the speech tonight and the speech at Fort McHenry have been criticized as potential violations of the Hatch Act. Now I know you're leaving the White House, but does that concern staff members now?

MS. CONWAY: Oh, that means they're having--they're probably having a very excellent, magnificent, and well-received convention. So, as I understand, legal authorities have looked at this many times and gave the greenlight to having the convention at those three sites that you just mentioned. This is the president and this is the first lady. They live there. This is their home. And I'm sure that people don't like the fact that the president is able to give his speech at the White House so that you see he's actually already the president and it signals to many people too, why in the world would you invite more disruption and uncertainty into a system that has so much already. So, let's stick with what we know what we're doing with the president who's presiding over historic speed for these vaccines and efficacy and safety for these vaccines.

So, I also just want to say that I read a couple of articles in the last couple of days, Frances, that made very clear at the Obama-Biden convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, where I was, in 2012 there are about five Obama Cabinet secretaries there. And that's pretty curious, because I went back and looked at the chyrons, too, and the videos, as is, for example, SBA administrator speaking, Administrator Mills, I believe her last name was. And it said SBA administrator. It didn't say private citizen Ms. Mills.

So, people get amnesia very quickly. They forget recent history. But for the first lady to help redesign the people's house and the Rose Garden, biggest refurb in probably 50 years or more I think, and then to give her speech there, I think America saw that for what it was: a first lady, unlike the two past first ladies the week before at the Democratic Convention--attack, attack, attack--this is a first lady who toward the end of her 28-minute speech said, as you can see, I didn't spend my precious time tonight attacking others, the other side. I spent it trying to unify us and trying to talk about what I would do as first lady in the second term and what I've done in the first time. So, people will see that.

MS. SELLERS: So, Kellyanne.

MS. CONWAY: But I think if the Hatch Act is the best thing they can come up, then it's probably a spectacular convention.

MS. SELLERS: Kellyanne, help me understand the controversy that has erupted today. This is about the Kenosha protests. And Joe Biden, Vice President Joe Biden said that--and I'm going to read a little bit here--that the controversy--he accused President Trump of rooting for more violence and said it was to his political benefit and that he was pouring gasoline on the fire in those protests in Kenosha.

MS. CONWAY: It's really unfortunate.

MS. SELLERS: Then he referred--I'm going to just read a little bit more. Then he referred to a statement that you made and let me read that to you. This was on Fox News.

MS. CONWAY: You have to read the whole statement. You can't read what he wrote. You have to read the whole statement. I published it on Twitter. People need to--

[Overlapping speakers]

MS. SELLERS: Okay, well, we can [unclear] make sure and then you can come back me if there's anything. "The more chaos and anarchy and vandalism and violence reigns, the better it is for the very clear choice on who's best on public safety and law and order." So, what did you mean by that? And tell me, if you think that's incomplete, what's the context for it?

MS. CONWAY: No, it's not just incomplete. It's dangerous that reporters live on Twitter and instead of getting the story, they try to get the president every single time. That was a deceptively edited clip.

MS. SELLERS: That's why I invited you to--

MS. CONWAY: The question was about Pete Buttigieg, media darling and failed presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg. I was asked a question because he said that the violence in Kenosha and elsewhere is happening on President Trump's watch, is his responsibility. No, thank you. This has been happening--this has been happening again and again on--in democratically led--democratically led cities and towns, as you know. And in this case, I was asked--sorry about that. Let me turn this off. And I was asked about what Mayor Pete said. And you're going to have to go back to Twitter and see what I put, because it was so deceptive--oops, sorry about that, am I there?

MS. SELLERS: You are with us, yes. We can hear you loud and clear. So, carry on. Interruptions happen.

MS. CONWAY: There's too many things going on.

MS. SELLERS: Go ahead, I know. Too many things to do.

MS. CONWAY: I don't know. I see myself in too many places. Do you have me, Frances?

MS. SELLERS: Yep, I can hear you, and I think our audience can hear you loud and clear, so go ahead.

MS. CONWAY: So, yes, anyway, they asked me about Mayor Pete. And what I'm going to do is, I'm going to pull up the full quote. What I said was, Donald Trump, President Trump does not look at the violence and the protestors as a partisan issue. And then I said, here it goes--and then I said--here it is--and it's very sad that responsible journalists deceptively edit this, but I called them out on it.

So here are my exact quotes. Because the Republican president, Donald Trump, doesn't look at this, the protestors, as a partisan issue, he's trying to send federal reinforcements in. And you have governors saying, oh, no, you're--they're putting their pride and politics ahead of safety, and that makes no sense to everyday Americans who want law and order and public safety. We saw a Gallup poll that said 86 percent of Americans want the same or an increased police presence in neighborhoods. That was over 80 percent of African Americans and Hispanic Americans in that Gallup poll. It would be great, nice if Joe Biden weighed in long after the violence not just in urban America but suburban America, Kenosha, Wisconsin. Nice that he weighed in. Maybe he should go there and see on the ground, I said, so he and Mayor Pete can see what is happening. It's not Donald Trump's watch. He's trying to get law and order restored. But I don't think Joe Biden will go to Wisconsin, because the last time a Democratic nominee went there was 2012.

Then I said I also noticed there was a quote today from a restaurateur in Wisconsin saying, are you protestors trying to get Donald Trump reelected. He, meaning the restaurateur knows, full stop, and I guess Mayor Pete knows, full stop, that the more chaos and anarchy and violence reign, the better it is for who is the clear choice in public safety and law order.

So that's the full--actually, it's even more full than that. But clipping that and saying that we were trying to incite violence is not just irresponsible, it's not journalism. But it really comes from crazy and lazy people. And I'll be in the private sector soon, so that should be fun. Anyhow--

MS. SELLERS: Thank you for--

MS. CONWAY: And for Joe Biden to say that--it was nice to see him again, Frances, but we basically saw him from--he was reading from his lap, which I think is very unfortunate. He was reading what somebody else wrote on his lap. And every reporter who put the clip out there, what I said--and deceptively edited it and lied about it--should be held to account. We're really tired of that, because they incite violence and threats of their own by doing that. The fact is that we want the vandalism and the violence, the looting to stop.

But do you know what? We're not alone. Listen to the mother of Jacob--listen to Jacob's mother. She said it yesterday, the day before. Listen to the family of George Floyd. Listen to Rayshard Brooks' family in Atlanta. They all said the same thing. Please protest peacefully. Do not be violent. And Jacob's mother went a step farther. She just said don't use my son or somebody's son or daughter to say that this is why you're doing it. So, I guess I would ask the media why they're disrespectful of that.

Joe Biden failed to even mention--mention--the violence and vandalism that is rocking so many of our beautiful cities in this country. Failed to even mention it at the convention last week.

MS. SELLERS: [Unclear] what's happening in Kenosha--and President Trump has said he's sending in federal troops. That doesn't seem like a great long-term strategy for quelling violence. What is his plan for deescalating violence in cities like that?

MS. CONWAY: Well, his plan is not to defund the police the way someone like Bill De Blasio did, and now you've got police officers, Frances, taking early retirements and they're not showing up to work. Defunding the police is a very dangerous process, even diverting resources, quote-unquote, is a fancy Washington way--

MS. SELLERS: And what is President Trump's plan to deescalating the violence?

MS. CONWAY: Pardon?

MS. SELLERS: And what is President Trump's plan for deescalating the violence?

MS. CONWAY: Well, he's offered to help. These are state and local matters. He's offered to send the federal troops to help. And the same governors who couldn't get enough of the ventilators and the PPE--we were happy to surge all those supplies--they wanted--send this and that--of course, we did it right away--we want to help American through the pandemic--are saying no way, I've got to put my pride and my politics before public safety. Why are they saying no to extra help to try to quell this violence and this vandalism?

But if you look, you've got--you've got mayors all across this country saying, oh, no, we're just having a little garden party, oh, no, and then they won't let the protesters on the street where they live. And then they're saying, wait, we need the police to come back in. That didn't work out.

MS. SELLERS: Kellyanne, was President Trump planning to make a statement on the shooting of Jacob Blake?

MS. CONWAY: Possibly. He certainly--he certainly will be addressing this issue very broadly and what's been happening recently. And I'll just tell you this, Frances, the vice president did that last night. I was there, and I saw the crowd spontaneously erupt in standing ovations and applause a few times. But certainly, when he was talking about the thin blue line and that we'll always stand with law enforcement,

Look, this is an administration that has more generously resourced and more deeply respected those who are keeping us safe, whether they're law enforcement, military, veterans. That was not done in the Obama-Biden administration, and everybody knows that.

MS. SELLERS: So, what are your thoughts about the 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse who took matters into own hands, allegedly, by shooting two people at the protests?

MS. CONWAY: So I don't know all the facts, and what I know is that--there are two things I do know, is that he's been charged with murder, arrested and charged with murder, and number two, that our Department of Justice has already launched a civil rights investigation into the shooting of Jacob Blake. And so that I think is very important for everyone to know. In no way will I ever get in front of an investigation one way or the other. It's inappropriate for me to comment on that. So that's what I'll say here.

MS. SELLERS: So, looking ahead, do you have an October surprise that you could give us a hint about?

MS. CONWAY: Me personally, or you mean for the campaign?

MS. SELLERS: No, I mean, for the campaign.

MS. CONWAY: Oh, well, I think there will be several, and there will be several that people will attempt against President Trump. But they'll probably just say the same things they always say. It seems like one speed, one gear, one volume, these days, one note for sure. I don't know if Biden or Harris will ever take another question from the press. I can't believe you and the press don't care about that. It's an affront to democracy. So maybe the October surprise is Kamala Harris and Joe Biden taking a question from the press. And not just the softballs, like a really tough question from the press that even staffers in our White House take, let alone the principals who are on the ballot.

But, Frances, I believe that we will continue to focus on this global pandemic--it's a dual medical and financial crisis--the unrest that we see around the country, but also this president rebuilding the economy is going to continue to tout what has been a tax cut and jobs act that has led to millions of Americans receiving bonuses, raises, childcare tax credit, job security. We want to help the job creators, job holders, and job seekers all at the same time. I think the president will continue to deal with his counterparts around the globe.

And then also, this president is going to show, including tonight, let alone October, the choice, the real contrast that we have. I think there's a tremendous clear-cut choice between the vision for America of these two candidates. Joe Biden is trying to fit into a party that left him many, many years ago, probably a dozen years ago.

MS. SELLERS: Kellyanne.

MS. CONWAY: His own party--his own party didn't want him. He had 22 other Democrats trying to stop him from being the nominee. So that's kind of troublesome. And the president's going to--he's going to continue to say he's going to take touch action against countries that are hurting America, and that includes China.

MS. SELLERS: Kellyanne, you worked very closely with Michael Cohen for a long time. He has a book coming out titled "Disloyal." He went from a true loyalist to suddenly he was a great critic of the president. Do you or the president have any concerns about what may be in that book?

MS. CONWAY: I haven't discussed that book at all with President Trump, not whatsoever.

MS. SELLERS: So, you have no concerns. And how about Bob Woodward's upcoming book "Rage"?

MS. CONWAY. The president gave several interviews to Bob Woodward.

MS. SELLERS: Did you sit in on any of those?

MS. CONWAY: I sat in one, one that I recall.

[Overlapping speakers]

MS. SELLERS: [Unclear] 17 or something.

MS. CONWAY: I think giving the--giving presidential access to an author is good, and I hope that Mr. Woodward will quote the president directly. And--but I think, you know, look, books are--you get more of an advantage. You get, you know, higher return, we've seen that very recently, if you can zing people in power. No author and no one book, notwithstanding you know these books are never fact-checked--they're fact-checked after the fact, and people run as they do on Twitter, same thing. They are their own fact-checkers, their own editors. They run with whatever is salacious. And I saw recently with the John Bolton book, I thought it was very amusing that most of Washington, who never liked John Bolton, didn't care much for him, didn't respect him much--when I did and worked with him--all ran to repeat exactly what he was saying in his book. So, people should--you know, should recognize that that works both ways. That works all different ways.

But I think what--what I think is most important is that the president's voice and choices are explained--are expressed and explained in his speech tonight to the country and the world at his own convention, and then also in those debates--very, very concerning today. I don't know if I wake up in the old Soviet Union or the great United States of America when I see the powerful, highest-ranking woman in American politics say there's no reason to have for Joe Biden to debate Donald Trump. What an affront to democracy. What an insult to the voters. Why not just call them deplorable and irredeemable and backward?

MS. SELLERS: Kellyanne, a final question. We're running out of time, but a final question.

MS. CONWAY: We need debate. Democracy demands a debate.

MS. SELLERS: I know you're going to be leaving the White House, but do you have a book you're planning to write?

MS. CONWAY: Yes, I absolutely will write a book in the future, and a sequel.

MS. SELLERS: And tell me what it's going to be about.

MS. CONWAY: Of course, I can't do that. But I'm also not focused on that right now. I'm wrapping up my work at the White House, and I, you know, don't have--I don't have any announcement right now. And it's nothing that I've been so focused on that it's detracting me from my work. But I've got a good book or two inside of me, and they'll be very different from the ones that are out there.

MS. SELLERS: Well, we're looking forward to hearing more about them, and I want to thank you very much for joining us this afternoon on what I know is a very busy time for you.

MS. CONWAY: Right now, my books are algebra books and world history books and religion books with the kids. So, I'm going to invest in leisurewear, Frances, and hover over my kids as they hover over their computers. So, thank you.

MS. SELLERS: Right. So, it's all going to be from home. You're not getting them back into school.

MS. CONWAY: Not at the moment. They're not doing that any time soon, and that is the new normal. And I've always been there for them, and this time I'm going to be there with them, because during the spring in the pandemic I was at the White House practically every day doing what I could, as all parents, and particularly moms across the country were trying to do their best, too, but we're going to do an even better job this time altogether. So, it will be great. Thank you.

MS. SELLERS: Thank you. Thank you again for joining us.

MS. CONWAY: Thank you, Frances. Take care.

MS. SELLERS: Okay, and you. Thank you everybody for joining us. Tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m. my colleague Jonathan Capehart will be back, and that will be for First Look. And he’ll be with reporters Michelle Lee and Glenn Kessler and columnist Henry Olsen and George Will. This is Washington Post Live. You can get more details of our programming at, where you can also register. I’m Frances Stead Sellers and thank you.

[End recorded session.]