(CNSNews.com) – Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway says she has “no idea” who may be on the list of administration officials suspected of writing an anonymous op-ed in the New York Times last week.
“I have no idea who’s on the list,” Conway told CNN’s “State of the Union” with Jake Tapper.
What does concern me, though Jake, apart from everything the president and others have said, is that, for a media that is constantly talking about facts, accuracy, transparency, authority, the authoritativeness to this anonymous writer was imbued automatically because of the content.
As long as the message is anti-Trump, it seems, the messenger has credibility. That should concern everyone. I’m with the vice president on this. He has said that the person should resign, if the person truly is an appointee who has taken an oath to the Constitution, as we all have.
We don’t take an oath to the president. We take an oath to the Constitution. But that Constitution puts an awful lot of authority into the executive branch.
Conway said the person who described such dysfunction in the Trump White House may pose a national security risk.
“We also don’t know what this person has said to try to get that op-ed in the New York Times or what he or she has said to other people. So, to the president’s point that there could be a national security risk at hand, he doesn’t want this person in a meeting where he’s discussing China, Russia, North Korea. Any president of the United States, Jake, should have the comfort and the freedom to speak with his national security team and not–”
Tapper interrupted, askingConway why President Trump thinks it could be a member of his national security team. (Trump abruptly fired National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster in March, replacing him with John Bolton, a move that may have angered McMaster loyalists.)
Conway said if it is someone on the national security team — and she said she doesn’t know — “that raises true concerns, if it’s somebody who has access to information.”
“If this person really thinks that he or she is being patriotic and not pathetic, which is the way I view it, then they should come forward, because you would have given them the seat today. If — what — what really was the motivation, too? If the motivation is what they state it is in that ridiculous op-ed, they failed miserably. They missed the mark completely. I think the motivation was to sow discord and create chaos. And I refuse to be a part of that,” Conway said.
“How do you explain the fact that there are senior administration officials who think it’s their job to protect the country from President Trump?” Tapper asked Conway.
“To the extent that that’s true, they shouldn’t be there,” she said. “In other words, their job is to execute, not through blind loyalty, but to understand that there are issues that prevailed and others that failed in the last election.
“What I appreciate about President Trump, Jake, and why I’m there, as opposed to the million other places I could be, is because he’s somebody who has always welcomed, accepted, if not expected, dissenting viewpoints, disagreements.
“He said it publicly several months ago actually in a press avail. He said, ‘I like watching them duke it out.’ He has people who disagree significantly on trade, on abortion, on the Second Amendment, on economic policies. And he has them there in front of him, but then, ultimately, President Trump knows he’s the democratically elected decision-maker.”
Conway predicted that the anonymous culprit eventually will out himself or herself: “I really hope whoever it is doesn’t ultimately get a hero’s welcome and the red carpet unfurled, kill the fatted calf, because what really was gained by being so cowardly? Come forward and say, I disagree with this president’s policies. Plenty of Republicans have done that. He has turned this city upside down.”