During an interview on CNN on Wednesday morning, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway praised President Trump, who has been accused of sexual assault by 14 women, for his “incredible moral standards.”
Conway made that comment under tough questioning by host Chris Cuomo, who pointed out that Trump’s full-throated endorsement on Monday of Roy Moore — an alleged child molester who is running for the U.S. Senate seat formerly held by Jeff Sessions — suggests the president “has no moral standard at play, it’s all political pragmatism.”
“The president has tremendous moral standards — he has said, the White House has said, that the allegations [against Moore] are troubling,” Conway replied, before immediately pivoting to the groping allegations against Democratic Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) — a move she made repeatedly during the interview.
In the closing days of last year’s president campaign, Trump responded to the sexual assault and misconduct allegations by attacking his accusers, including on more than one occasion suggesting that some of them were not attractive enough for him to assault. Trump vowed that “all of these liars will be sued after the election” and promised to provide evidence of his innocence, but didn’t sue anyone or provide any evidence of his innocence whatsoever. In multiple instances, the stories told by Trump’s accusers are corroborated by multiple people the women told at the time of the incidents.
In recent weeks, the White House has made clear that its official position remains that all of the women who have accused Trump are liars. Similarly, Moore and his surrogates have responded to the credible allegations against him by attacking his accusers and claiming they are all liars.
Despite all that, Conway wants Americans to believe that the president — who rose to political notoriety as one of the foremost pushers of a racist conspiracy theory about Barack Obama’s birth certificate — is a paragon of virtue.
The spin employed by Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders under a similar line of questioning on Tuesday might better reflect why Trump endorsed Moore. Grilled by reporters about how the president can justify endorsing an alleged child predator, Sanders said Trump would “rather have a person that supports his agenda, versus somebody who opposes his agenda every step of the way.”