Kellyanne Conway: Husband’s criticism of Whitaker ‘not relevant’
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said Sunday that her husband’s views on President Donald Trump’s appointment of acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker are “not relevant,” just days after he called the move unconstitutional in a New York Times op-ed.
Asked if she agrees with the arguments written by her husband, George Conway, and Neal Katyal, a former acting solicitor general in the Obama administration, Conway told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on “This Week,” “No, I don’t. But it’s also not relevant.”
“People disagree on the Constitution,” she said. “That’s why we have a US Circuit Court system and, indeed, a United States Supreme Court. They are there to interpret the law, and they disagree about the Constitution regularly.”
George Conway, a Washington attorney and finalist for the role of solicitor general in the early days of the Trump administration, made his interpretation of the law clear on Thursday, a day after Trump’s appointment of Whitaker, writing with Katyal: “A principal officer must be confirmed by the Senate. And that has a very significant consequence today. It means that Mr. Trump’s installation of Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general of the United States after forcing the resignation of Jeff Sessions is unconstitutional. It’s illegal.”
They added, “And it means that anything Mr. Whitaker does, or tries to do, in that position is invalid.”
Conway, who because of her White House role is often asked to discuss her husband’s public criticisms of Trump, told Stephanopoulos that she leaves her own opinions for private conversations with the President.
“Reasonable people disagree about the Constitution every single day, and I choose, because I’m in a position to do so, to give my advice and opinion to the President privately,” she said.
Conway also said that she doesn’t think people should be publicly questioning aspects of her marriage, calling such questions “inappropriate.”
On Friday, Trump said in response to a reporter’s question about George Conway’s argument in the Times, “He’s just trying to get publicity for himself. Why don’t you do this: Why don’t you ask Kellyanne that question, all right? She might know him better than me. I really don’t know the guy.”
Conway told Stephanopoulos that the President gave that response out of respect for her.
“When the President says, ‘Mr. Kellyanne Conway,’ and ‘ask Kellyanne,’ the President’s never worried about how it affects him,” she said. “He’s always worried about how it affects me.”
“And I really appreciate that from my boss, from the President. He is really great to the women who work for him,” Conway said.