Less than 24 hours after President Donald Trump sent an incendiary tweet casting doubt on the domestic violence allegations against lately resigned personnel secretary Rob Porter, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway took to the airwaves to run injury control. And in doing so, she claimed something flat-out false about Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, adding another entry to the long list of untrue and misleading assertions she’s made in cable news interviews.
On Saturday, Trump tweeted that “Peoples lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation, ” an apparent response to Porter’s resignation.
Peoples lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere accusation. Some are true-life and some are false. Some are old and some are new. There is no recovery for someone falsely accused- life and job are gone. Is there no such thing any longer as Due Process?
— Donald J. Trump (@ realDonaldTrump) February 10, 2018
The tweet elicited a sharp replies from Gillibrand, who replied that Trump “has shown through words and actions that he doesn’t value girls, ” and suggested that if he “wants due process for the over dozen sex crime allegations against him, let’s have Congressional hearings tomorrow.”
Responding to @SenGillibrand’s tweet that Congress should comprise hearings with women who have accused Pres. Trump of sex crime, @KellyannePolls tells @GStephanopoulos “Those accusers have had their day…I don’t necessity a lecturing from Kirsten Gillibrand or anybody else.” #ThisWeek pic.twitter.com/ iefif4Nh 4q
— This Week (@ ThisWeekABC) February 11, 2018
Appearing on ABC with George Stephanopoulos on Sunday, Conway dismissed Gillibrand’s criticisms, saying she didn’t “need a lecture” from the New York senator. She also derisively claimed Trump’s multiple sexual assault accusers had their due process when they were “trotted out” during the course of its 2016 election.
“Those accusers have had their day on your network and elsewhere for a long time, they were trotted out again late last year, and I don’t need a lecturing from Kirsten Gillibrand or anybody else who protected and defended and harbored a sitting chairwoman who had sex relations in the Oval Office, and was impeached for lying–I don’t need a lecture from her or anybody else.”
Conway likewise noted that Gillibrand has since “re just saying that” Clinton should have resigned. What she didn’t note, however, is that Gillibrand was not elected to the U.S. Senate until 2006, eight years after the Clinton impeachment. In 1998, she was still working as an lawyer and had not yet entered the world of politics. To what extent a private citizen can meaningfully” safeguard, defend, or harbor” a sitting president is, to throw it liberally, unclear.
In an appearing on CNN’s State of the Union the same morning, Conway also stated she’s not concerned about White House communications director Hope Hicks potentially becoming a victim of domestic violence, in part because of what a “strong” wife she is, with” good instincts .”
— CNN (@ CNN) February 11, 2018
Media reports have suggested that Hicks was involved in a romantic relationship with Porter when the domestic violence accusations transgressed; the sentiment that “strong” women don’t become victims of violence is widely considered a fallacious sort of victim-blaming.
This is not the first time Conway has trafficked in this kind of controversial rhetoric. In 2013, she suggested that if men and women were equals in physical strength, then” rape would not exist .”
When Tapper challenged Conway’s characterization, she backtracked, clarifying that” many ladies get abused , no question .”