Sunday, June 26, 2022

In new book, Kellyanne Conway aims at many targets — except Donald Trump

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In 2015, Kellyanne Conway discovered herself en route to select up her youngsters at elementary college, concurrently pushing again in opposition to an try by Michael Cohen — then Donald Trump’s private lawyer and fixer — to rig the annual Conservative Political Motion Convention’s buzzy straw ballot, which her agency was working, in Trump’s favor.

“ ‘Mr. Trump’ wanted to return in first within the PAC straw ballot,” Conway recounted that Cohen instructed her in a cellphone name. “He repeated himself. Mr. Trump wanted to return in first.”

4 years later, firmly ensconced within the White Home as senior counselor to Trump as president, Conway stated she discovered herself once more dealing with the surreal, when Trump’s daughter Ivanka handed her a Submit-it observe with “the names of two native medical doctors who specialised in {couples} remedy.”

The wedding between Conway and her husband had erupted into public view when George T. Conway III started attacking Trump on Twitter, and Conway stated Ivanka was responding to her personal openness about in search of skilled help.

“I observed she had prevented placing that in a textual content or an electronic mail. I appreciated the knowledge and her thoughtfulness and needed to pursue it,” Conway recalled. “After I confirmed George the names, he rejected one and stated a halfhearted ‘okay’ to the opposite whereas taking a look at his cellphone. We by no means went.”

These scenes and others are a part of Conway’s almost 500-page new memoir, “Right here’s the Deal,” which The Washington Submit obtained prematurely of its Tuesday publication.

Half private chronicle and half political journey, Conway’s ebook is full of the kinds of barbed one-liners and bon mots that she distributed on cable information on Trump’s behalf, turning into — relying on one’s perspective — more and more well-known or notorious.

Not like many different Trump-focused tomes within the post-presidency period, Conway has not got down to pen a scathing tell-all, wherein she distances herself from the president or administration she as soon as served.

Her memoir is peppered with references to “Trump Derangement Syndrome” — a time period she makes use of to confer with the media and the political left, who she says had been unable to just accept the truth that Trump vanquished Hillary Clinton in 2016. Conway can be among the many comparatively small group of staffers who managed to depart the White Home nonetheless in Trump’s inside circle.

Her ebook walks the same line, providing what she views as a candid evaluation of a few of her colleagues within the White Home and the media — each constructive and detrimental — however by no means skewering Trump himself.

Conway reserves a few of her harshest criticism for Jared Kushner, Ivanka’s husband and a Trump senior adviser, whom she describes as “shrewd and calculating”; “a person of figuring out nods, quizzical appears to be like, and sidebar inquiries”; and somebody who, because the president’s son-in-law, knew that “regardless of how disastrous a personnel change or legislative try could also be, he was unlikely to be held accountable for it.”

“There was no topic he thought-about past his experience. Legal justice reform. Center East peace. The southern and northern borders. Veterans and opioids. Massive Tech and small enterprise,” she writes. “If Martian assaults had come throughout the radar, he would have fortunately added them to his ever-bulging portfolio. He’d have made certain you knew he’d exiled the Martians to Uranus and insisted he didn’t care who bought credit score for it. He misinterpret the Structure in a single essential respect, pondering that every one energy not given to the federal authorities was reserved to him.”

For example of what she calls Kushner’s “schemes and desires,” she later within the ebook recounts a scuttled immigration rollout plan wherein Kushner urged Trump “go to Ellis Island, the place he’d stand on the foot of the Statue of Liberty to steer a naturalization ceremony.”

Conway says that her pressure with Kushner got here, partially, as a result of he accused her of leaking to the media as a technique to undermine her credibility with Trump — a cost she denies.

A Kushner ally stated his portfolio included among the administration’s largest successes: a legal justice reform invoice, the USMCA commerce deal, the Abraham Accords within the Center East and the Operation Warp Velocity coronavirus vaccine effort.

Conway additionally takes fleeting goal at Paul Manafort, the short-lived chair of Trump’s 2016 presidential marketing campaign. Manafort, she writes, “actually fell asleep throughout my PowerPoint on learn how to shut the gender hole with Hillary. (He will need to have been on Ukraine time.).”

And Conway describes Reince Priebus, the previous chair of the Republican Nationwide Committee who served as Trump’s first chief of employees, as “completely conservative however not remotely MAGA,” a reference to Trump’s Make America Nice Once more marketing campaign slogan.

Conway depicts Priebus as essentially not understanding the Trump motion; when Conway pressed a skeptical Priebus to permit a lot of administration officers to handle CPAC, the annual conservative gathering, he instructed her, “That’s since you love the crazies, Kellyanne, they usually love you,” she writes.

Priebus had spoken at CPAC nearly yearly since turning into RNC chair, together with in 2017, when he and Bannon addressed the gathering collectively. Priebus declined to remark.

She additionally pulls no punches in opposition to a lot of the Trump White Home’s workforce of coronavirus consultants — notably Anthony S. Fauci, the director of the Nationwide Institute of Allergy and Infectious Ailments — whom she depicts as gradual to understand the magnitude of the virus in its early days, in addition to donning masks in public however not at all times in personal.

“No masks was customary fare within the White Home State of affairs Room, the place Dr. Fauci was extra prone to put on ‘Dr. Fauci’ socks than a masks,” she writes. “Then, like magic, when D. Myles Cullen, the vice chairman’s photographer, got here into the room, masks would all of the sudden seem.”

Fauci didn’t reply to a request for remark.

The ebook additionally affords a extra private facet of Conway, in addition to her relationship with Trump. She writes of rising up in an Italian Catholic feminine family, after her father left, when she was 3, with out offering baby help or alimony.

“I’d be raised by sturdy ladies,” she writes, explaining her response when Kushner, Priebus and Stephen Okay. Bannon, a former prime Trump adviser, provided a cold reception upon studying Trump had requested her to hitch his administration as counselor to the president. “For so long as I might keep in mind, I’d been manhandling jealous little boys.”

Later within the ebook — in a bit on Supreme Courtroom Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh’s contentious affirmation hearings, and with out delving into the specifics — Conway additionally shares that, “unbeknownst to the general public,” she was “a sufferer of sexual assault.”

Trump has been accused of sexual assault and misconduct by greater than a dozen ladies. Throughout his 2016 marketing campaign, an “Entry Hollywood” video emerged of him boasting about groping ladies in opposition to their will.

Conway, nonetheless, depicts Trump as a feminist who repeatedly supported and promoted her, permitting her to make historical past as the primary girl to handle a successful presidential marketing campaign.

“Donald Trump had elevated and empowered me to the highest of his marketing campaign, serving to me crack glass ceilings that had by no means even been dinged earlier than,” she writes, including that “offended feminists” ought to “have at the least as soon as of their lives a ‘lady boss’ as beneficiant, respectful, participating, and empowering as Donald Trump was to me and my different feminine colleagues.”

Themes of household and motherhood additionally run by the ebook, with Conway writing about developing as a girl in a male-dominated business and — with chapters like “Cheerful Chaos,” “Child Energy” and “Mother Guilt” — each the fun and challenges of being a working mother or father and a working mother, particularly.

Nonetheless, Conway manages to ascend to the White Home with Trump. And within the spring of 2020, Conway recollects sitting within the Oval Workplace with Trump, who muses that with out Twitter, he wouldn’t have been elected: “True sufficient, however as I reminded him, with respect to social media, ‘Be sure it doesn’t get you unelected.’ ”

Later, after he had misplaced his reelection bid, Conway observes, “Trump was extra shocked to lose in 2020, I believe, than he was to win in 2016.”

Within the waning days of his presidency, Conway additionally writes that, throughout a dialogue with Trump on pardons and clemency, he turned to her and requested, “Would you like one?”

“Are you aware one thing I don’t?” Kellyanne requested Trump, she writes. “Why would I want a pardon?”

“As a result of they go after everybody, honey. It doesn’t matter,” Trump replied, in accordance the ebook.

“I politely declined,” she concludes.

A few of the rawest materials in her ebook offers along with her marriage, which grew to become a supply of inside-the-Beltway fascination — and media protection — as George Conway ramped up his Twitter assaults on his spouse’s boss.

Kellyanne Conway devotes parts early in her ebook to her husband’s romantic courtship of her, in addition to his fulsome help of her taking up the position of Trump’s marketing campaign supervisor and even of Trump himself. Which made her all of the extra confused, she says, when he started criticizing Trump publicly.

“For the primary time since George and I had gotten severe, I used to be wanting on the chance that the person who had at all times had my again would possibly someday stab me in it,” she writes.

As George’s tweeting ramps up, Conway writes that she “didn’t wish to be caught in a cable information section in the main bedroom,” and the rising actuality that she had “two males” in her life.

“One was my husband. One was my boss, who occurred to be president of the US,” she writes. “A type of males was defending me. And it wasn’t George Conway. It was Donald Trump.”

Within the Afterword, Conway describes vying with Twitter for her husband’s time and a focus and asks, “And why would I even strive?” she wrote, equating Twitter with one other girl. “She has no character and he or she’s not even scorching.”

She ends the ebook on an optimistic observe — besides, maybe, for her marriage.

“Democracy will survive. America will survive,” she writes. “George and I could not survive.”

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