April 22, 2018

Sunday School 4/22/18

One classroom today, CNN's State of the Union, since I haven't spent a lot of time there lately -- and, mostly, because Presidential Counselor Kellyanne Conway was making an appearance.

First up? Guest host Dana Bash, sitting in for Jake Tapper, asked Conway about the president's tweet disagreeing with a report in the NY Times that Cohen would 'flip' against his boss, and why he'd be concerned about it if he (Trump) had done nothing wrong. Conway suggested that the one tweet Bash mentioned was part of a continuum.
You have to look at everything the president said... he is defending someone who he has worked with and known for a dozen-plus years, Dana, who he things is being treated unfairly.... Also the methods really have disserved the president... 
Conway concluded that section by hitting the FBI about the DNC Server, after which Bash tried again to get her to say whether the president "has anything to hide" and if he "unequivocally" did nothing wrong that he had to worry about Cohen flipping. Conway wasn't having it.
I'm telling you that the president's concern has been for Michael Cohen and the way he has been treated... He stands up for people in his inner circle and people he knows when he thinks they are being treated unfairly... .
I sort of hoped that Bash would ask about Trump's loyalties to his own appointees, including Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, but that might have been a little out there since Conway was on a mission.  The mission? To slam "that guy," James Comey.
He can't even keep his story straight when he's out there among what he thinks is going to be hero's welcome with the mainstream media. And fortunately, many people including your own Jake Tapper, pushed back on him, really filleted him last week...
She was all over Comey, and Andrew McCabe. And, Conway repeatedly and effectively, I think, attacked CNN, the compliment to Jake Tapper notwithstanding, for their attention to tweets instead of to what Trump is focused on. But by far the best part of the interview came when Bash tried to ask about Conway's husband, who has receiving some attention for his own tweets, which are not always kind to the president.

In a nutshell, Bash wanted to know about Conway's husband's negative tweets about Trump and the Administration. The conversation got heated, and there was a lot of crosstalk but here's how things played out..
KC: He writes about a lot of things that are also supportive, and he writes a lot of things about corgis and the Philadelphia Eagles and sports too... But the fact is that -- well, two things I will say to you. Number one, that again, that woman who lost the election whose name I never see on TV anymore is wrong that women -- I think she said white women have to listen to their - the men in their life to -- to form their own political opinions. Wrong again, lady. Number two, it's fascinating to me that CNN would go there, But it's very good for the whole world to have just witnessed that it's now fair... 
Excuse me -- that it's now fair game what people's - how people's spouses and significant others may differ with them. I'm really surprised, but very, in some ways, relieved and gratified to see that. 
DB: And it's not about that (gender). It's about -- It's about -- It's about questioning, publicly questioning what you are doing for a living and with regard to your boss. And it has nothing to do with gender
KC: No, and it has nothing to do with my spouse?  You just brought him - you just brought him into this, so this ought to be fun moving forward, Dana.  We're now going to talk about other people's  -- people's spouses and significant others, just because they either work in the White House or at CNN? Are we going to do that? Because you just -- no, you just went there... CNN just went there. Look, differences of opinions...
DB:By the way, this wasn't critical. I'm just asking about...
KC: Oh, of course it was. It was meant to harass and embarrass. But let me just tell you something... Let me just tell you something. By definition, spouses have a difference of opinion when adultery is happening... By definition, spouses have a difference of opinion when one is, I don't know, draining the joint bank account to support things that maybe the other disagrees with. So this is a fascinating 'cross the Rubicon' moment. And I will leave it at that. 
And of course, they didn't just leave it there. It kept going. Bash was relentless in trying to defend the question, saying it was "actually intended to be somewhat lighthearted about the fact that we are all grownups who have different opinions.
DB: Kellyanne, Kellyanne, here was my whole point in this... is that you are a professional working for the president of the United States and your husband is a very well-respected lawyer. Any my point is that we don't often see - in fact I don't remember the last time we saw somebody working for the president in a high-profile position when their spouse is saying critical things about them. That is all... That is all.
Conway mentioned other people's family members who don't support the president privately and publicly, who worked for or gave money to Dems, but that the whole conversation
is meant to divert attention from, again, the big issues that America cares about. But, like I said CNN chose to go there. I think that's going to be fascinating moving forward... 
Bash reminded Conway about Trump, and Andrew McCabe.
DB: The president went after Andrew McCabe for something that his wife did, ran as a Democrat. And that had nothing to do with the president, so.
KC:  No, no, no, no. The president knew something early that everybody else is now finding out. The president has excellent instincts. And he knew Jim Comey and Andrew Mccabe...
And there: we have circled back around to the Kellyanne Conway we're so familiar with. In a nutshell, the credibility she gained by attacking CNN for being more interested in trivial stuff than in actual stuff -- something all of the networks were guilty of during Trump's campaign, and since --  was lost.

See you around campus.

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