President-elect Donald Trump senior adviser Kellyanne Conway on Sunday called on Democratic leaders -- including President Obama and Hillary Clinton -- to publicly call for an end to violent protests over Trump’s election victory, while warning outgoing Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid to “be very careful” about his personal attacks on Trump.
“I am calling for responsibility and decency. I hope President Obama says, ‘Cut it out,' " Conway said on “Fox News Sunday.” “Everybody is looking for a peaceful transition, and you have the Senate minority leader acting like a garden variety political pundit."
Conway warned Reid, a Nevada Democrat retiring from the Senate in January, to “be very careful about characterizing someone in a legal sense” regarding his attacks on Trump, but said she was not suggesting legal action was pending.
Reid on Friday said Trump has the responsibility for healing a divided, post-election American and that he was “a sexual predator who lost the popular vote and fueled his campaign with bigotry and hate.”
The protests in major U.S. cities, on college campuses, outside Trump Tower in New York City and elsewhere across the country have included flag burnings and other violence, including a man being shot during a protest Saturday in Portland, Oregon.
Conway called on Obama and others to call for calm and peaceful protests. And she suggeted that some Clinton supporters are "masquerading as protesters," while others are paid professionals who are "there for nefarious reasons."
"The are booing and spitting on us," Conway said. "I don't like it."
Reid’s office responded within minutes of her warning.
"It only took five days for President-elect Trump to try to silence his critics with the threat of legal action,” a Reid staffer said. “This should shock and concern all Americans. … Since Trump was elected, acts of hate against Muslims, Jews, women and people of color have spiked dramatically. The KKK is planning a parade to celebrate Trump's victory … . But instead of rising to the responsibility of his office, Trump is hiding behind his Twitter account and sending his staff on TV to threaten his critics.”
In the wide-ranging interview, Conway also downplayed Trump’s comment late last week to the Wall Street Journal that he’d consider amending ObamaCare.
As the Republican presidential nominee, Trump on Tuesday defeated Democratic rival Clinton in an upset victory that in large part included a promise to Americans to “repeal and replace” ObamaCare, Obama’s struggling, signature health care plan.
Conway offered that Trump said he would consider amending ObamaCare, “out of respect” for the president, after meeting with him Thursday at the White House.
“Mr. Trump has made it very clear what his health care plan would look like, and it’s not ObamaCare,” she told Fox News.
She reiterated that Trump still plans to get rid of the plan’s financial penalty for failing to buy health insurance and to now allow customers to buy plans across state lines.
Conway also suggested that Trump will call a special session on the issue on January 20, the day he is inaugurated.
She declined to say exactly when Trump will announce his choice for chief of staff, after saying Saturday that the decision was “imminent.”