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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.

Confirmed Cases: 13260

Reported Deaths: 625
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds89324
Lauderdale67855
Madison65421
Scott58910
Neshoba51231
Forrest48034
Jones46713
DeSoto4616
Leake38410
Holmes36523
Rankin3496
Jackson29613
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Monroe24224
Leflore24025
Harrison2346
Newton2243
Lamar2194
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Pearl River20327
Pike19611
Adams18615
Lowndes1607
Noxubee1586
Washington1535
Warren1506
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Jasper1393
Oktibbeha13410
Smith13110
Covington1271
Chickasaw12612
Clarke12616
Kemper12510
Lafayette1233
Carroll11310
Wayne1090
Marion1088
Lee1045
Clay993
Winston981
Coahoma983
Lawrence901
Hancock8711
Simpson850
Itawamba857
Yalobusha824
Wilkinson829
Montgomery781
Sunflower773
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Jefferson Davis712
Union715
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Tate591
Claiborne581
Humphreys537
Amite521
Walthall510
Tunica483
Perry462
Jefferson400
Prentiss383
Stone300
Choctaw292
Webster271
Pontotoc263
Franklin252
Tishomingo250
Quitman240
Tallahatchie241
George191
Alcorn151
Benton140
Greene71
Sharkey70
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 14478

Reported Deaths: 551
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile1996109
Jefferson161488
Montgomery118630
Marshall6499
Tuscaloosa50512
Lee49832
Franklin4476
Shelby43319
Tallapoosa39662
Butler34411
Chambers33623
Madison2964
Baldwin2749
Elmore2637
Etowah23610
DeKalb2213
Coffee2001
Walker1981
Dallas1973
Sumter1916
Lowndes18610
Houston1644
Morgan1621
Autauga1593
Calhoun1413
Choctaw1414
Pike1360
Colbert1362
Marengo1336
Hale1293
Russell1280
Lauderdale1282
Randolph1257
Wilcox1187
Marion11310
Bullock1111
Barbour1101
Clarke1022
St. Clair1021
Pickens934
Talladega912
Greene894
Chilton871
Dale830
Cullman760
Limestone740
Jackson692
Covington651
Washington645
Winston620
Macon602
Bibb591
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Henry562
Blount491
Escambia433
Lawrence420
Coosa331
Geneva330
Cherokee332
Perry310
Monroe282
Clay272
Conecuh251
Lamar200
Cleburne131
Fayette110
Unassigned00
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