On Sunday, Kellyanne Conway finally acknowledged that there’s something amiss with the Donald Trump campaign. “We’re behind,” she told Meet the Press.
So, as Trump’s campaign manager, how is she planning to turn things around in the next two weeks? Apparently by doing media appearances that suggest she’s out of sync with the candidate, and the campaign is becoming even more engulfed in chaos.
As the Washington Post’s Aaron Blake noted on Monday, Conway’s relationship with her boss has become increasingly bizarre in recent days:
There was the whole thing about her playing down the real threat of voter fraud, even as he was doubling down. There was also her playing down the idea that Trump actually did mean it when he said he would put Hillary Clinton in jail, before Trump doubled down again. There was that time during Wednesday night’s debate when Conway appeared to disown Trump’s “bad hombres” comment and suggest that it wasn’t something she would want him to say. And then she denied rumors that she would leave the campaign, but also added a dangling “unless … ”
The pair spent the day publicly disagreeing on whether or not Trump is losing, then Conway capped things off with a CNN profile in which she suggested that she can’t tell him what to say.
“It’s his campaign and it’s his candidacy, and in the end he has to feel comfortable with his voice and his choice every single time,” Conway told Dana Bash, adding that she thinks Trump is at his best on the (rare) occasions when he sticks to the issues.
But moments later, she insisted that she’s tough on the candidate in private. “I don’t sugarcoat it at all,” she said. “I told him yesterday, on the plane, ‘You and I are going to fight for the next 17 days.’” Trump asked why, and Conway told him they’d keep arguing, “Because I know you’re going to win and that comment you just made sounds like you think you’re going to lose.” He responded, “Okay, honey, then we’ll win.”
Something about Conway’s decision to do a self-promoting CNN interview two weeks before Election Day suggests she’s not being completely honest with him.