Kellyanne Conway, President Donald Trump’s White House counselor, claimed on Tuesday morning that her boss is “trying to bring the country together” and “heal a nation” after mass shootings, at least one of which appears to have been inspired by his own anti-immigrant demagoguery. Moments later, both Conway and Trump demonstrated how dishonest that talking point was.
Conway attempted to present Trump as a statesmanlike leader, bent on staying above the fray in a time of national tragedy while others attempt to politicize the moment, during a Tuesday morning appearance on the Fox News Channel.
“It has been his desire and his intention since he learned of these tragedies over the weekend to get on the ground and visit the people there, to thank the first responders and the medical professionals, to meet those who are healing from their wounds to talk to law enforcement and federal FBI agents and others who are still on the ground offering resources and support,” she said.
“So, this is what he has done,” Conway continued. “And I think you saw a preview of that yesterday here in the White House when, despite the politicization of his political opponents, the president is trying to bring the country together, heal a nation but also offer concrete proposals on how to move forward as a nation.”
But in the very next sentence after claiming that the Trump White House was above the fray, Conway proceeded to politicize the tragedy herself. Though the motive in the Dayton shooting is not yet clear, she called herself “hopping mad” that the media has provided “very little scant coverage of the fact that this Dayton shooter has been confirmed as having a Twitter feed that was supportive of Antifa, that was supportive of Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders.”
She also complained that some Democratic politicians had blamed Trump’s racist rhetoric and actions for the rise in white nationalist violence. “This is a disgrace,” she said, bragging that “the president did not respond in kind.”
But less than an hour earlier, Trump had indeed responded in kind. He blasted former President Barack Obama, who had condemned the rise in racist rhetoric in a tweet.
“Did George Bush ever condemn President Obama after Sandy Hook. President Obama had 32 mass shootings during his reign. Not many people said Obama is out of Control. Mass shootings were happening before the President even thought about running for Pres.” @kilmeade @foxandfriends
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 6, 2019
Kellyanne’s husband, George Conway, who has been a prominent conservative critic of Trump during his tenure in office, pointed out that unlike previous presidents, Trump’s racist comments were apparently parroted in the manifesto of the El Paso mass shooter.
Um, because the racist terrorist killer wrote a racist manifesto that parroted the racist things that the racist president said? Just a wild guess. 🤔 https://t.co/uavk3f5yGA
— George Conway (@gtconway3d) August 6, 2019
Trump also demonstrated that his focus on appearing to bring the nation together was short-lived at best.
While Conway appeared on Fox News, Trump engaged in a Twitter storm accusing Google — without evidence — of “very illegal” actions in 2016 to subvert his presidential campaign.