While the current administration has been mired with controversies mostly because of President Donald Trump’s orders, his White House staff has also had a fair share of the spotlight. And if there’s anyone we know from his circle who has been a notorious frequent headliner, it’s none other than Kellyanne Conway.
Since Trump’s inauguration, the 50-year-old Senior White House adviser has been embroiled in several scandals which have called her credibility into question. Here are the top five controversies of Kellyanne Conway during her first two months as a counselor to the president.
1. Alternative Facts
In a Meet the Press interview on January 22, Conway used the phrase “alternative facts” to describe falsehoods White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer asserted regarding the attendance at Trump’s inauguration.
Speaking with Chuck Todd, the Trump aide stated that Spicer was giving “alternative facts.” Todd responded, “Look, alternative facts are not facts. They’re falsehoods.”
Netizens mocked her usage of the term to obscure the truth on social media. She also faced criticisms from journalists and media organizations alike including Jill Abramson, Dan Rather, and the Public Relations Society of America.
"Alternative facts are not facts. They are falsehoods," Chuck Todd tells Pres. Trump's counselor Kellyanne Conway this morning. WATCH: pic.twitter.com/Ao005dQ13r
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) January 22, 2017
2. The Nonexistent Bowling Green Massacre
Earlier this month, Conway appeared in an interview on Hardball with Chris Matthews about Trump’s immigration orders. She justified one of the regulations banning refugee entry temporarily, referencing Bowling Green massacre, an event Iraqi terrorists allegedly perpetrated. The problem, though, is such an event never took place.
Kentucky. Conway explained the next day that she meant to say “Bowling Green terrorists”. The event in question is the 2011 arrest of two Iraqi refugees in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
Her misstatement of fact caused several media practitioners to urge broadcasters to stop booking her on television news shows. CNN, for instance, decided not to feature Conway that day because of what the network said were “serious questions about her credibility.”
3. Buy Ivanka Trump Stuff
Days after the Bowling Green controversy, she appeared on Fox & Friends on Feb.9 to discuss Nordstrom’s decision to drop the presidential daughter’s brand. And while defending a tweet that Trump published attacking the retailer, she urged the public to “Go buy Ivanka’s stuff.”
“It’s a wonderful line. I own some of it,” Conway said. ” I’m going to give a free commercial here: Go buy it today, everybody. You can find it online.”
Within hours, two organizations filed formal ethics complaints against her for violating a federal law prohibiting the use of a federal position “for the endorsement of any product, service or enterprise”. Conway’s remarks drew bipartisan criticisms.
4. Morning Joe Ban
On Feb. 15, MSNBC’s Morning Joe show banned her from future appearances. “We know for a fact she tries to book herself on this show,” show co-host Mika Brzezinski said of Conway. “I won’t do it, ‘cuz I don’t believe in fake news or information that is not true. And that is — every time I’ve ever seen her on television, something’s askew, off or incorrect.”
Joe Scarborough, the program’s main host, said the decision to blacklist the White House adviser stems from her being “out of the loop” and “in none of the key meetings”. Conway apparently “makes things up” and say things “just to get in front of the TV” and “prove her relevance.”
5. Michael Flynn’s Resignation
Conway on Feb. 13 declared on TV that former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn enjoyed the president’s “full confidence”. But hours later, Business Insider reports Flynn resigned amidst scrutiny to his contact with the Russian ambassador ahead of Trump’s inauguration.
In a separate interview, Conway contradicted her previous remarks. This time, she said Flynn’s role as national security adviser became “unsustainable” after it became clear that he “misled” the vice president. Those statements, according to White House sources, had led the administration to conclude that her appearances were creating more harm than good. Kellyanne Conway had a week-long absence from TV following the Michael Flynn controversy.