Conway to CNN: I got physically attacked at a restaurant over politics

Add Kellyanne Conway to the list of Republicans who got harassed in restaurants in last year’s fad in the Beltway environs — only Conway experienced something more frightening. A woman physically assaulted her while expressing her dissent with Trump in October, Kellyanne Conway tells CNN’s Dana Bash. She’s only speaking publicly about it now because her alleged assailant will face trial next month.

“She was out of control,” Conway tells Bash about the incident that took place in front of her daughter and her daughter’s friends, and “she ought to pay”:

In an interview with CNN, the White House counselor to President Donald Trump talked about the alleged assault for the first time publicly. She recounted how the woman, who was later identified by authorities as a 63-year-old Maryland resident, approached her “screaming her head off” at Uncle Julio’s, a Mexican restaurant in the DC suburb of Bethesda, as Conway’s middle school-aged daughter looked on.

“Somebody was grabbing me from behind, grabbing my arms, and was shaking me to the point where I felt maybe somebody was hugging me,” Conway said in the interview for an upcoming story for CNN’s series, “Badass Women of Washington.”

“She was out of control. I don’t even know how to explain her to you. She was just, her whole face was terror and anger. She was right here, and my daughter was right there. She ought to pay for that,” she said.

Conway said she called 911, though the woman had left before local police arrived. After an investigation, Mary Elizabeth Inabinett was charged in November with second-degree assault and disorderly conduct. A trial is set for March in Maryland state court.

The woman charged in the incident denies ever touching Conway, but that might be a tough sell in court. Conway tells Bash that the incident took place in front of a number of people, and more importantly that her daughter got it on cellphone video. That could be why police tracked Inabinett down, as it’s not easy to prove either assault or disorderly conduct without police being present for it — or someone confesses. It’s not impossible either, and certainly wouldn’t be when the victim works in the president’s inner circle, of course.

With this now out in the open, the trial should be interesting, no? Hope the judge is prepared for the media interest in what would normally be a trial that only family members attend. Inabinett will draw supporters from the rabid anti-Trump activist crowd too. She won’t be enjoying the experience much, however. Second-degree assault in Maryland is a misdemeanor but carries a potential 10-year prison sentence. If Inabinett has no previous record, she won’t get anything like that if convicted, but she might still do a bit of time in the klink.

Bash and CNN carry her attorney’s denial at the end of this segment. Don’t be too surprised if they change their tune and try to get a plea deal on reckless endangerment, which is a lesser misdemeanor that carries a potential five-year prison term. Without any priors, Inabinett would probably get probation and a scolding for that charge. It beats going into court and facing off against video of the incident and the tearful testimony from Conway’s adolescent daughter and her friends.