Kellyanne Conway: Press tenions 'not healthy'

Christiane Amanpour speaks with the counselor to President Trump about tensions between the White House and the media.

Posted: Sep 11, 2018 5:55 PM
Updated: Sep 11, 2018 6:06 PM

President Trump has called the press almost every nasty name in the book. But his advisors say they don't always agree with him.

Kellyanne Conway, for one, does not endorse Trump's "enemy of the people" rhetoric.

In a new interview, this prompted CNN's Christiane Amanpour to ask her, "Then do you try to weigh in with the President on this issue?"

Amanpour repeatedly pushed Conway about the president's anti-media attacks in an interview for the premiere of "Amanpour and Company."

The new program on PBS, which effectively replaces Charlie Rose's nightly talk show, is an extension of Amanpour's existing program on CNN International.

Referencing the toxic relationship between Trump and the news media, Amanpour asked the counselor to the president if she sees "some way to get out of this thing that doesn't seem to be good for you or for us."

"I'll respond in a few ways," Conway said. "First of all, I do agree that it's not healthy for the body politic on either side."

That's a noteworthy comment, given the president's sustained "fake news" attacks against the news media.

Conway went on to say that "I and others have tried, the president has tried, to turn down the temperature, to give more access."

But she quickly turned to her core complaint about negative coverage.

"We talked about the economic reports. I think the media will start covering the economy if it ever goes down," she said. "I think they'll start covering the regulation if it ever starts going up again."

Every administration complains about not getting a fair shake from the press corps, though. One of the differences with Trump is the way he tries to delegitimize and even dehumanize reporters.

That's what Amanpour, one of the world's best known international correspondents, tried to get at with Conway: The damaging effects of Trump's words and actions.

She pointed out that a California man was recently arrested for calling in threats to the Boston Globe.

"At what point," Amanpour asked, "is there a red line for you, personally, in the rhetoric causing potential danger and having consequences?"

Conway dodged the question and bemoaned the amount of media attention devoted to "palace intrigue" and "personnel" over "principles and policies."

Amanpour pressed her again. "There are also all sorts of despicable and undemocratic leaders all over the world who are taking seriously" Trump's attacks, taking it as "permission to demonize their own press."

Conway tried to deflect by saying "that didn't happen in the last 20 months, as you full well know."

"But it has got worse in the last few months," Amanpour said. "And people are using the 'fake news' slogan to justify the unprecedented amount of imprisonment and violence directed towards journalists."

Conway's response? "I see things every single day that are just not true." She tried to differentiate between journalists like Amanpour and "people who call themselves reporters because they sit on Twitter all day seeing who wrote what, and then they repeat it, even though they don't independently research it themselves."

But Trump routinely denigrates journalists from CNN and other major news outlets. "It's not just the Twitteratti," Amanpour said.

She asked Conway, "Do you think the president might take a stance of his own, to pull back from this?" To pull back from the daily derision of the press?

Conway's deflections seemed like her way of saying "no, he won't."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 145636

Reported Deaths: 3745
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto963299
Hinds9584195
Harrison6848109
Jackson6124118
Rankin528598
Lee484295
Madison4633105
Forrest368186
Jones345287
Lauderdale3350143
Lafayette315049
Washington3097107
Lamar281849
Oktibbeha239261
Bolivar239083
Lowndes228863
Neshoba2164115
Panola211749
Marshall208350
Leflore200890
Pontotoc194728
Monroe190277
Sunflower189755
Lincoln186165
Warren172257
Tate164251
Union160925
Pike160458
Copiah158940
Yazoo151239
Scott150229
Itawamba147634
Coahoma147443
Pearl River144467
Simpson144253
Alcorn143925
Prentiss140429
Grenada136945
Adams136548
Leake131843
Holmes124961
George122224
Tippah121530
Covington117636
Winston116624
Wayne115823
Hancock114139
Marion111046
Attala107833
Tishomingo106142
Newton102729
Chickasaw102432
Tallahatchie95527
Clarke88553
Clay87027
Jasper81122
Walthall75028
Stone72414
Montgomery71925
Calhoun71613
Carroll70614
Lawrence70214
Yalobusha69427
Noxubee69217
Smith68816
Perry65225
Tunica59619
Greene58422
Claiborne57416
Jefferson Davis54217
Humphreys52618
Amite51214
Benton48417
Quitman4796
Webster42014
Kemper40917
Wilkinson38622
Jefferson33811
Franklin3235
Choctaw3077
Sharkey30617
Issaquena1114
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 236865

Reported Deaths: 3472
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson31043491
Mobile19446360
Tuscaloosa12684150
Madison12528146
Montgomery12122235
Shelby992276
Baldwin837684
Lee759765
Morgan626247
Calhoun6049113
Etowah600564
Marshall596153
Houston510838
DeKalb469635
Cullman421136
Limestone408844
St. Clair403955
Elmore398961
Lauderdale387253
Walker356199
Talladega339044
Jackson302524
Colbert297641
Blount282236
Autauga266139
Franklin246233
Coffee236615
Dale228454
Dallas222331
Russell21923
Chilton218537
Covington215933
Escambia196931
Tallapoosa171790
Chambers171448
Pike156014
Clarke155319
Marion135535
Winston126623
Lawrence123936
Geneva11848
Pickens117618
Marengo117424
Barbour116710
Bibb115717
Butler114341
Randolph100321
Cherokee99624
Hale93231
Washington89918
Clay89623
Fayette86216
Henry8436
Lowndes78929
Monroe77911
Cleburne75614
Macon71720
Crenshaw70330
Bullock69019
Conecuh68214
Perry6726
Lamar6337
Wilcox62818
Sumter56222
Choctaw41813
Greene41317
Coosa3144
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