CNN spent the past few days feuding with the White House over Kellyanne Conway’s credibility, but Tuesday afternoon, Jake Tapper hosted her live for a full half hour.
Conway spent most of the interview twisting the Trump administration’s lies to try to make them more palatable for the audience. Her spin was remarkable.
- “Is President Trump equating the War in Iraq with what Vladimir Putin does?” Tapper asked, referring to his comments about how both countries are “killers.” “No, he’s just answering the question as asked,” Conway responded.
- “But in that interview he seemed to be equating moral equivalence with Putin’s Russia and the United States,” Tapper insisted. “I don’t think it’s a moral equivalence, Jake. What it is is stating two different opinions on two different matters,” she said. “And in that regard I think people should make the judgment for themselves.”
- Tapper pointed out that Trump has said nothing about the attack conducted by a white right-wing terrorist on a mosque in Quebec. “He’s sympathetic to any loss of life,” she said. “It’s completely senseless and it needs to stop regardless of who is lodging the attack.” If there’s any doubt, she added, “Put us on record as always being sad about this as a senseless loss of life.” After all, “he doesn’t tweet about everything.”
- Eventually, Tapper brought up how Trump is trying to undermine the credibility of the media while blatantly stating things that aren’t true. Conway instead played the victim. “I’m now being attacked by the media, including networks that are familiar to you, and I’m just going to keep soldiering on.”
- Tapper tried to get her back on topic, noting the “sprays of attacks and sprays of falsehoods coming from the White House” every day. “Agreed,” Conway said, “And let me just say it has to go both ways.” She cast the administration as the victim of coverage that “doesn’t have a great deal of respect.”
- Tapper asked if she ever said anything incorrect. She admitted that the “Bowling Green massacre” she invented was a mistake, but stuck to her argument that she simply used the wrong word in three different interviews to describe an attack that never happened. “I felt bad and I rectify,” she said, but also boasted how her lie raised awareness about the Iraqi refugees she was incorrectly characterizing.
- “Is CNN fake news?” Tapper asked. No, she said, but then told a story about a reporter who reached out to ask her about a tweet that was actually sent on a fake Twitter account parodying her. The reporter, embarrassed, never ran a story about it, but she still insisted it was an example of “fake news.” Again, she was the victim. “I know first hand what it’s like to have haters descend upon you.”
- Tapper tried to recenter the conversation once again on Trump making statements that are “demonstrably not true.” Echoing her “alternative facts” line, Conway countered, “Are they more important than the many things that he says that are true that are making a difference in people’s lives?”
It was a half hour without a single meaningful answer, but plenty of spin to justify lies and defend the White House’s propaganda. Conway simply complained that the media isn’t covering “other facts,” about the Trump administration, including boosting wages and creating jobs. She cited no evidence backing up those claims as “facts.” (They’re not.)