White House counselor Kellyanne Conway objected to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer as he concluded an interview by showing an MSNBC clip of her husband, George Conway, offering a scathing critique of President Donald Trump. Watch their exchange above.
Kellyanne Conway is one of the president’s most visible defenders; her husband is one of his most prolific conservative critics, particularly on social media.
But they have declined to talk about their personal lives, and she has objected strenuously when it has been raised in interviews, and she did so again with Blitzer.
Near the end of an interview on Thursday, Blitzer said that he wanted to bring up a “sensitive” topic but added: “I don’t want to talk about your marriage. I know there are issues there.”
Conway replied, “What did you just say? Why did you say that?”
“I don’t want to talk about your marriage. I want to talk about a substantive point that your husband made. He was on the air all day during the first day of the impeachment hearings.”
George Conway offered commentary on MSNBC during the network’s coverage of the first day of public testimony in the impeachment hearings, which featured diplomats Bill Taylor and George Kent. Conway is not a frequent presence on TV, but he is very vocal on Twitter.
Before Blitzer went to the clip, she asked him, “Why are you doing that?”
Blitzer replied, “Because he is a legal scholar, a lawyer and he is really going after the president of the United States.”
“And the relevance is? He’s married to me?”
Blitzer replied, “He happens to be married to you. He’s also a legal scholar.”
Conway asked why CNN wasn’t showing other commentators, such as CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin, who had some notes of skepticism over the impact of the testimony. And she continued to ask Blitzer why he said that there were “issues” in the context of her marriage.
In the clip, George Conway said, “The problem with Donald Trump is, he always sees himself first. Trump is all about Trump.”
Kellyanne Conway said that her husband’s words were “his opinion,” and “I don’t think MSNBC was lacking for anti-Trump voices. And we have seen things like that said on CNN for three years.”
“Where is the shame?” she said.
She also accused CNN of “sticking it to Kellyanne Conway,” but added, “I think you embarrassed yourself. I am embarrassed for you because this is CNN now?”
Blitzer brought up past interviews with another married couple, James Carville and Mary Matalin. Carville is a Democratic strategist and Matalin is a Republican one. They were on opposite sides during the 1992 presidential campaign.
Blitzer said “You know how many times I would ask them on television about the differences they had? They didn’t get in to a sensitive discussion.”
“I’m not in a sensitive discussion. You are,” she replied.
The interview went on and ended with Blitzer saying, “We gave you plenty of time to make your points and we appreciated them. You are always welcome to come back and join me here on CNN.”
“You will stay in my prayers. Thank you,” Conway finished.
Last month, Conway lashed out at a reporter for the Washington Examiner over a reference in a story that she “had been in the middle” of Trump’s “barbs with her husband, George, a conservative lawyer who frequently makes headlines for his criticism of the president.” The Examiner later published the audio of the call to the reporter, Caitlin Yilek.
In a statement, Conway denied that she threatened the reporter, but also said that “my goal is to answer substantive personal questions about the business of the White House yet have been subjected to personal questions which seem gossipy, inappropriate and irrelevant.”
In her statement, Conway said, “I’ve previously noted that it is unusual — especially in Washington and especially in Republican politics — for a man to gain newfound fame and power through his wife, following his own storied, decades long career as a respected and outstanding litigator in New York, which I have long admired. Like every couple I know, George and I disagree on many big things and agree on many big things. Exactly none of it affects my position as Counselor to the President. Exactly none of it is anyone’s business.”
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.