Donald Trump is sick and tired of Kellyanne Conway spouting off with no concern for message discipline. Or so MSNBC reports.
On Sunday, Trump’s former campaign manager loudly questioned the president-elect’s decision to consider Mitt Romney for secretary of State.
“I’m all for party unity, but I’m not sure we have to pay for that with the secretary of State position,” Conway told CNN’s State of the Union. “It’s just breathtaking in scope and intensity the type of messages I’ve received from all over the country … the number of people who feel betrayed to think that Gov. Romney would get the most prominent Cabinet post after he went so far out of his way to hurt Donald Trump.”
Conway had tweeted a similar sentiment on Thanksgiving morning.
Romney did, in fact, go far out of his way to hurt Trump in the primary, calling the GOP front-runner a “fraud,” whose election would bring global instability, domestic recession, and “trickle-down racism.”
Nonetheless, some were baffled that Conway would publicly accuse her boss of betraying his supporters.
Others were baffled that anyone would think a consummate professional like Conway would say anything her boss didn’t want her to — clearly, the goal here was to humiliate a former enemy. After all, Trump’s team had already made Romney “kiss the ring,” and requested a public apology for Mitt’s past attempts to sully the president-elect’s good name. Now, they were making sure that Mittens got a reminder of how despised he was every time he turned on a Sunday show.
But on Monday, sources from the top of the Trump organization — who may or may not have been Donald Trump — told MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough that the president-elect was furious about Conway’s remarks, saying “Kellyanne went rogue at Donald Trump’s expense at the worst possible time … instead of driving Donald Trump’s message, she’s pushing her own agenda.”
Conway declared this report “all false” and “sexist,” going on to tell MSNBC that she is so beloved by Trump, she could “have any job I want,” since the president-elect “wants me by his side.”
Her line is backed up by CNBC’s John Harwood.
So, how should we go about projecting order onto this chaos?
One option is to see all this as an elaborate means for Trump to have his secretary of State Romney and humiliate him, too. Another is that Rudy Giuliani — Trump’s terrifying alternative for the State Department — promised Conway some especially cushy gig there, should he take the helm.
Alternatively, it’s possible that Joe Scarborough baited Trump into condemning comments that he’d previously sanctioned.
In which case, Trump has now proven that he can’t be bullied by his staff, only by cable-news hosts.