CNN was at the receiving end of another towel slapping by the Trump White House. Host Wolf Blitzer was chewed out on-air for asking senior Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway about remarks made by her husband, George, a noted opponent of this administration. George was on MSNBC last night lambasting President Trump and the Republican Party (via NYT):
MSNBC turned heads on Wednesday when, minutes before the House impeachment hearings got underway, the network announced a surprise guest: George T. Conway III, the conservative lawyer and husband of President Trump’s White House counselor, Kellyanne Conway.
But while Mr. Conway has also ventured onto newspaper op-ed pages (“Trump is a racist president” was the headline of his Washington Post opinion piece in July) and other media forums, he had drawn the line at appearing on Mr. Trump’s favored medium. Until now.
“I don’t, frankly, want to be on television,” Mr. Conway said during the Wednesday morning broadcast from the MSNBC set in New York, where he had been granted a perch across from the co-anchors Brian Williams and Nicolle Wallace. “But this,” he added, referring to Mr. Trump’s conduct, “I just don’t get why people can’t see this, and why people are refusing to see this. It’s appalling to me.”
Dressed soberly in a blue suit and gold tie, Mr. Conway — who was identified onscreen, merely, as “Conservative Attorney” — sounded pained at times as he laced into the president, saying, “This is about putting the country, the law, truth, above partisanship.”
Asked by Ms. Wallace if he was disappointed that his fellow Republicans did not share those views, Mr. Conway replied: “I’m horrified. I’m appalled.
Part of that interview was played before Blitzer pitched the question, who also highlighted the elephant in the room—that being George and Kellyanne are married. Yeah, that was a mistake. Kellyanne knows the game and knew what was going on here. CNN was trying to use her husband to score cheap political points. And she came prepared to play, torching the host, the network, and the entire liberal media establishment for their shamelessness, while adding that they’ve been dead wrong for years about this administration. She also was irked that Blitzer would even suggest that there were marriage issues between the two. Her husband made a point that bashed Trump—good for CNN. It’s not like they haven’t had others who have made similar points on-air. And if it was MSNBC, bashing Trump and the GOP is just another day that ends in “y.” Grab some popcorn because the folks at Real Clear Politics clipped and transcribed the whole shanking (via RCP):
WOLF BLITZER, CNN: I just have a final question, a sensitive question, and it's a political question, it's a substantive question. I don't want to talk about your marriage. I know that there are issues there. Your husband George Conway --
KELLYANNE CONWAY: What did you just say? Did you just say there are "issues" there? You don't want to talk about my marriage?
WOLF BLITZER: No, I don't want to --
KELLYANNE CONWAY: Why would you say that?
WOLF BLITZER: I don't want to talk about your marriage. I want to talk about a substantive point that your husband George Conway made. He was on television all day yesterday during the first day of the impeachment hearings and said this about the President of the United States. I just want your reaction to the substance of what --
KELLYANNE CONWAY: So before you play the clip, which I haven't said. Why and why are you doing that?
WOLF BLITZER: Because he's a legal scholar. He's a lawyer and was really going after the president of the united states.
KELLYANNE CONWAY: And the relevance is -- and -- come on. Wait for it. Drum roll. And he's married to me?
WOLF BLITZER: He happens to be married to you.
KELLYANNE CONWAY: You can run the clip of Jeffrey [Toobin of CNN] -- he happens to be married to me? That's bizarre.
WOLF BLITZER: He's also a legal scholar. He's got a substantive point.
KELLYANNE CONWAY: I liked Jeffrey Toobin's point, your senior legal analyst, I loved his point on CNN yesterday. We don't have to play a competitor's clip. Just play the CNN clip where Jeffrey Toobin said it's a problem that Taylor and Kent never met Donald Trump. He said -- it's a problem.
WOLF BLITZER: I'm not disagreeing with --
KELLYANNE CONWAY: Jake tapper said something like --
WOLF BLITZER: I'm not disagreeing with either of them.
KELLYANNE CONWAY: -- they might have to meet the whistle-blower. At least talk to him or her. Him, in private because you have to be able to confront your accuser.
WOLF BLITZER: Right.
KELLYANNE CONWAY: But you should not have just said to your audience, "I don't want to talk about your marriage," quote, "I know there are issues."
WOLF BLITZER: I don't want to talk about your marriage.
KELLYANNE CONWAY: Why would you say there are issues?
WOLF BLITZER: Listen to what your husband said. I'll play the clip.
WOLF BLITZER: All right. That's a serious allegation. A serious charge. He was using the power of the presidency, its most unchecked area, foreign affairs, to advance his own personal interest as opposed to the country's.
KELLYANNE CONWAY: That is his opinion. And we -- I don't think MSNBC was lacking for anti-Trump voices. And we've heard things like that said on CNN for three years. And we've heard things like that said on that network for three years and elsewhere.
And where -- honestly, where is the shame? Where is the introspection of people who have said for three years, respectfully, Wolf, actually beginning in May of 2017, I'll quote your wife's husband right now, I won't talk about your marriage but I'll quote your wife's husband.
In 2017 you asked Angus King, "Are we getting closer to impeachment?"
Does anybody ever feel badly about getting it so wrong? We sort of look the other way of how wrong everybody was here and elsewhere with the elections. I was on your network every single day as gracefully and respectfully as I could laying out the case as to why Donald Trump would beat Hillary Clinton. I have a living, breathing video catalog which is why I don't worry about anything when people say, "I always knew he'd win. I said it all the time." Really? Because you were sleeping when I was on tv in the morning and at night. We have a leaving breathing catalog. We're going back to Pennsylvania. It's the same stuff all the time.
What you just quoted is said every day by other voices, but you wanted to put it in my husband's voice because you think somehow that that will help your ratings or that you're really sticking it to Kellyanne Conway. And let me be very clear. You didn't stick it to Kellyanne Conway. I don't think you stuck it to Kellyanne Conway. I think you embarrassed yourself and I'm embarrassed for you because this is CNN now? I looked up to you when I was in college and law school, I would turn on CNN to see what Wolf Blitzer had to say about war, famine, disruption abroad. I really respected you for all those years as someone that would give you the news and now it's what somebody's husband said on a different network-
WOLF BLITZER: You know how many times we spoke about James Carville and Mary Matalin, a Democrat and a Republican happily married individuals who totally disagreed on all sorts of --
KELLYANNE CONWAY: That's not the way you introduced this segment.
Oh, what a smackdown. And this is a person that CNN high chancellor Jeff Zucker tried to trash in past media appearances. Yeah, these clowns will never win that fight. CNN tried to be cute and got disemboweled.