Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway shot down media reports that the White House was in chaos, while speaking to PBS host and veteran correspondent Christiane Amanpour on her new show PBS Monday evening.
After asking Conway about her road to working in the administration, Amanpour swiftly shifted to discussing the gossipy Bob Woodward book and the anonymous New York Times op-ed that has dominated cable news coverage the past week.
Referring to Conway as a “true believer” loyal to the President, Amanpour dramatically asked if she felt that the White House was “under siege” from this “storm” of critical writings.
“No,” Conway quickly shut down the hype. But Amanpour kept fishing, asking, “Or do you feel sort of relief that maybe some of this is out in the open and you continue serving the President and as these -- as these people seem to say, also try to, you know, put a brake on some of the "wins"?
“I feel neither of those, Christiane. I'm glad you asked,” Conway dismissed Amanpour’s narrative. Saying she felt “disappointment,” at the “pathetic” op-ed’s author, she compelled them to come forward.
As Conway started to bash the paper for protecting this anonymous writer’s job, Amanpour shifted back to palace intrigue. “Do you think that person is inside the White House?” the PBS host gushed.
“Most of us don't think that. The President, just today, said he believes it's somebody in National Security,” Conway responded. She went on to argue against the media’s narrative that these people were serving the country by coming out with these scandalous anonymous accounts, saying that their duty was first and foremost to the Constitution. Conway also added that she doubted that there was 100% agreement with White House staff in the Bush or Obama administrations so the media was making a mountain out of a molehill in touting these accounts:
[T]he loyalty is not to the President only or at all -- it's loyalty to the presidency. It's loyalty to the Constitution. It's loyalty to serving in an administration that has views on issues, wants certain positions to fail and others to prevail. So, I didn't work in President Obama's administration. I didn't work in President George W. Bush's administration. People who did, I would think -- although they all didn't, anonymously or otherwise, believe in what was happening there at the time.
Amanpour wondered Conway’s thoughts on Senator Rand Paul’s call for an investigation into the source of the anonymous op-ed.
“I'd much rather see an investigation of all the high-ranking people at the FBI who were trying to fix an election for [Clinton],” Conway shot back. She added that the person behind this article would out themselves eventually anyway, but their true goal was to create division in the White House:
“Isn't the goal here not with the op-ed pretends the goal is, Christiane? Isn't the goal here really to try to sow chaos and get us all suspicious of each other?” she asked.
“Is that what's happening? Are you all getting suspicious of each other?” Amanpour eagerly wondered.
“No, that isn't what happened. It never happens,” Conway laughed, joking that she “screenshotted” hot takes on Twitter by the media “for her own amusement” at what was supposedly going on in the White House:
“So many people [said] -- ‘By the end of this week, there will be a massive purge. There will be an exodus. People will leave.’ How many times have we heard this?” she asked, adding that this whole situation was just a symptom of how the press doesn’t understand what Americans really care about.