Via the Free Beacon, I hope someday we get the whole story of why “Morning Joe,” especially Mika, seems to hate Conway so, so, so much. This is a piece of the puzzle, but I don’t think we have all the pieces yet.
Any reason to believe this is true? Welllllll… Remember these tweets, from a few weeks before election day?
That was me! I was there… https://t.co/t0w3w7H0PA
— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) October 14, 2016
— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) October 20, 2016
You don’t often see a campaign manager needling her candidate publicly for his indiscipline. Nor do you hear them describe interacting with their candidate as though he’s a five-year-old with ADHD:
No one understands this better than Manafort’s successors. To hear Kellyanne Conway talk about managing her boss is to listen to a mother of four who has had ample experience with unruly toddlers. Instead of criticizing Trump’s angry tweets, for instance, she suggested that he also include a few positive ones. “You had these people saying, ‘Delete the app! Stop tweeting!’ ” she recalled. “I would say, ‘Here are a couple of cool things we should tweet today.’ It’s like saying to someone, ‘How about having two brownies and not six?’”
Brzezinski and Scarborough are also right that Conway referred to Trump as her “client” towards the end, although how often she did it I don’t know. She did use that term on October 23rd on “Meet the Press.” It seemed obvious enough at the time to Trump-skeptics like me that she had misgivings about Trump that I hoped she’d end up as chief of staff, a voice of reason within the inner circle. That … feels like a long time ago.
What all of the above have in common — the tweets, the New York magazine profile, the MTP appearance — is that they came before election day but after the “Access Hollywood” tape emerged, when Trump looked for a few weeks like he was dead in the water politically. It may be that Conway thought the campaign was a lost cause at that point (she conceded on “Meet the Press” that Trump was behind) and was eager to let her friends in the GOP consultant class know that she was a reluctant passenger on the Trump train and would soon be back amongst them as a “respectable Republican.” She began the campaign heading up a pro-Cruz Super PAC, remember, and joined Trump 2016 only in late summer of last year after Paul Manafort was fired. The common thread between the Super PAC and the Trump campaign was the Mercer family. Conway is a longtime advisor to the Mercers; they bankrolled the Cruz PAC that she led. When they swung around to backing Trump, Conway did too. What may have happened is that the Mercers found out Trump was unhappy with Manafort, persuaded him that Conway was an able manager, then leaned on Conway to join Team Trump and try to get him over the finish line. Conway, not wanting to alienate some of her most powerful and wealthiest allies, agreed. She may very well have seen it as little more than a favor she was doing for them, something that would raise her media profile and lock in plenty more Mercer business for years to come. Which, if true, would jibe with Scarborough’s claim here about her “summer vacation.” Then Trump pulled the upset of the century and she woke up to find she had hit the political jackpot.
Assume it’s all true, though. Why are Joe and Mika telling tales out of school like this? Whatever Conway said to them about her reluctance to flack for Trump was doubtless said in confidence. They’re breaching that confidence and seemingly doing it in hopes that Trump will hear this, get pissed off, and fire her. If you’re one of the eight thousand establishment political/media people who frequent this show as guests, why would you ever say another candid thing in Scarborough’s or Brzezinski’s presence? Obviously they’ll try to use it to destroy you, publicly, on their own show, if you end up on their sh*t list. Sheesh.