Donald Trump “did not mean it in a malicious way” when he named NBC reporter Katy Tur at a rally in Miami Wednesday, his campaign manager Kellyanne Conway told MSNBC’s Morning Joe this morning. Conway, once again cleaning up a situation create by her candidate, said she had spoken to NBC News abouat yesterday’s incident, in which Trump targeted Tur during the traditional Media Are Louses segment that play so well at his rallies.
“There’s something happening. They’re not reporting it, Katy. You’re not reporting it, Katy. But there’s something happening, Katy. There’s something happening, Katy” he said, pointing in her direction. After which, rally attendees began harassing Tur, according to reports by member of the media who were on site. Members of NBC News staff and other media members yesterday began tweeting #ImWithTur again – a hashtag born months ago when Trump began to single out Tur for public haranguing, including calling her “Little Katy,” a “third-rate journalist,” and “not a very good reporter.” It trended all afternoon.
“Well, he obviously didn’t mean it in any malicious way. You heard what he said,” Conway said, when asked about the incident, choosing to ignore the context of Trump’s ongoing taunts of Tur and the fact that she has had to be escorted by Secret Service from his rallies in the past when the crowd foamed over following one of Trump’s Tur tantrums.
“I’ve spoken to NBC news about that issue and I’ll leave it there,” she said.
“Wow,” responded Mika Brzezinski on that subject, speaking for the many journalists who had tweeted in support of Tur after yesterday’s incident. Conway invited the Morning Joe co-host to call her after the broadcast to discuss. Geist wondered why she would not discuss on the air, triggering one of those Conway pivots to media-bias boilerplate statements:
“Willie, people are so tired of being told what to think, how to act, what to do,” she said, adding, “This is not about Katy. I’m extrapolating on one of his major compelling and successful messaging points throughout this whole campaign, which is don’t let the establishment define you and tell you.”
Geist did at least get Conway to sort of answer a question as to whether Trump maybe should not have called out Tur.
“I always prefer when he talks about institutions generally,” she acknowledged.
Tur had addressed the harassment the previous night on MSNBC’s The 11th Hour: