In four years, these two will have their own show together, right? They would have a tough time settling on topics, though, as this demo tape from earlier today demonstrates. Chris Cuomo wants to discuss Donald Trump and Rod Rosenstein, while Kellyanne Conway insists on discussing James Comey. By the end, Conway circles back to Rosenstein, but it still doesn’t clarify much:
“I’m sure you boosted his ratings,” Cuomo teases at the end, but come on, man. At one point, the two argue over who’s trying hardest to get this to go viral:
“You’re trying to go viral,” Conway said to Cuomo at one point.
“You’re the one who goes viral,” Cuomo retorted.
“You want this to be about something other than what the whole day is about here,” Conway said later in the interview. “Which is whether or not the president has complied with an investigation that your network and others have alleged would lead to evidence of collusion with Russia.”
“We’ve never said anything like that, Kellyanne,” Cuomo said. “Why do you try and poison people’s minds like that, Kellyanne? That’s not helpful. We need common ground not division. Don’t poison people.”
That’s always a good pro-tip, so at least we have something of value from this interview. CNN’s takeaway from this is that Conway won’t confirm Donald Trump’s confidence in Rosenstein:
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway refused to say Monday whether Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will keep his job during special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
“Can you assure (the American people) that Rosenstein is safe in this job so there’s less turnover and less tumult on something as sensitive as this investigation? Is he safe or not?” CNN “New Day” co-anchor Chris Cuomo asked.
“The President makes the decisions around here. You want to say, ‘Kellyanne struggles to answer the question’ … Is your job safe at CNN? How do you know that?” Conway replied.
That gives too much credit to the proposition that a coherent conversation took place, rather than the rhetorical equivalent of gladiatorial combat. To paraphrase the Bard, this was thirty minutes of sound and fury signifying nothing much more than mutual contempt. It’s entertaining, sure, but not terribly enlightening, and it’s tough to say who’s most responsible for the end product. What we can predict is a ratings grabber if it gets scheduled as a regular duel. Then we can all agree that they’re both trying hard to go viral … and, well, succeeding.
So, to get back to the topic, how close is Rosenstein to getting fired? One anonymous White House official told BuzzFeed’s Thomas Frank that such a move is only bouncing around the media’s “echo chamber”:
A senior White House official tried to tamp down on speculation that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein would soon be fired by President Donald Trump, saying that his supposed firing only “was imminent to the press and the echo chamber.”
“I don’t think it’s likely to happen,” said the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The source declined to elaborate on Trump’s thinking or to speculate on other possible personnel moves.
The source’s comments came as White House press secretary Sarah Sanders also again said on Sunday that she wasn’t aware of any imminent plans, and Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy said he didn’t “see a basis” for the deputy attorney general’s firing.
Maybe as long as he doesn’t poison people, Rosenstein will be safe.