Kellyanne Conway is the White House's real First Lady

“I have two friends, who both — well, one is Ann Coulter. She started dating her security guard probably ten years ago because she couldn’t see anybody else,” Conway said. “And you know Rebekah Mercer?” she asked, referring to the Republican megadonor who, with her father, Robert, bankrolled Trump’s campaign and pushed to install Conway as its campaign manager. “Her younger sister, Heather Sue, married her security guard. She was like, ‘Well, I didn’t see anybody else, so one night, I, you know, I invited him in!’ ” Conway’s got a running joke about one of her own agents. “If Blueberry has an affair, it’s with Secret Service! It’s with Joe.” She deepened her voice to mimic his: “ ‘Ma’am? Blueberry, horsepower!’ ” (Coulter and the Mercer family did not respond to multiple requests for comment.)…

A few minutes later, leaning on her desk, she looked at her iPhone, with its giant font and banner alerts, and noticed that news had broken that Flynn had extended an apology to Pence. She mumbled the headline aloud. “Hmm,” she said. “Did we really need to put that out there?” She ate a few pieces of cinnamon-flavored Orbit, the gum of choice of Sean Spicer, who’s technically the public face of the new administration, though Conway was first floated as an obvious pick for press secretary. Asked if she would ever want his job, she rolled her eyes. “Slit my wrists, bleed out, put cement shoes on, jump off the bridge, and then I’ll take the job — are you kidding me?”

Delivering absolute assurances about the gainful employment of the national-security adviser just before he was forced to resign might have torpedoed anyone else’s communications career. After all, what she said wasn’t skillful obfuscation; it was just wrong. “On that one, she was definitely not in the loop. She was never envisioned to be in the loop,” Steve Bannon, the president’s chief strategist, told me. “Quite frankly, I was a little surprised when I saw that.” Conway’s interview had taken place in the afternoon, around 4 p.m., and it only took an hour for Spicer to come out and cast doubt on what she’d said. Just after 10 p.m., Flynn resigned.