White House senior adviser Kellyanne Conway lashed out at CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Thursday, telling the anchor he “embarrassed himself” by asking about her husband’s recent appearance on MSNBC and implying the couple has marital issues.
“I think you embarrassed yourself,” she said. “I’m embarrassed for you because this is CNN now. I looked up to you when I was in college and law school. I would turn on CNN to see what Wolf Blitzer had to say about war, famine, disruption abroad, I really respected you for all those years as somebody who would give us the news. Now the news is what somebody’s husband says on a different network.”
The explosive segment was the result of George Conway, who often mocks President Trump on Twitter, making a rare TV appearance during MSNBC coverage of the impeachment hearing. Blitzer began the exchange by awkwardly saying he had a “sensitive” question for the White House advisor.
“It’s a political question, it’s a substantive question and I don’t want to talk about your marriage because I know that there are issues there,” Blitzer said before a shocked Conway interrupted.
“What did you just say? Did you just say there are issues there? You don’t want to talk about… why did you say that?” Conway asked.
“I don’t want to talk about your marriage… I want to talk about a substantive point that your husband, George Conway, made. He was on television all day yesterday during the first day of the impeachment hearings,” Blitzer responded.
The CNN anchor began to introduce a clip of George Conway’s MSNBC appearance when he was cut off.
“Before you play the clip, which I haven’t seen, why? And why are you doing that? I’m just curious,” Conway asked.
Blitzer tried to justify the news value, noting he’s a “legal scholar” who opposes President Trump.
“And the relevance is? Come on…. drumroll,” Conway said. “And he’s married to me?”
Conway told Blitzer that CNN’s own legal scholar Jeffrey Toobin, who pointed out a "problem" House Democrats had during the hearing, was a perfectly fine clip to air.
“You don’t have to play a competitor’s clip. You can just play the CNN clip,” she said. “You should not have just said to your audience, ‘I don’t want to talk about your marriage, I know there are issues.’”
Conway asked, “Why would you say that? What is it you know that I don’t?”
Blitzer continued to insist he didn’t want to talk about her marriage while simultaneously urging Conway to watch the MSNBC clip in which her husband bashed Trump.
When CNN finally played the clip of George Conway’s MSNBC appearance, the liberal network used a split screen with one camera focused on Kellyanne Conway, presumably to catch her reaction to her husband’s hot take. Blitzer then said he made a “serious allegation” about Trump misusing his presidency.
Let me be very clear, you didn’t stick it to Kellyanne Conway. I think you embarrassed yourself.”
“That is his opinion. And I don’t think MSNBC was lacking for anti-Trump voices and we’ve heard things like that said on CNN for three years. And we’ve heard things like that said on [MSNBC] for three years,” Conway said. “Honestly, where is the shame? Where is the introspection?”
Conway then quoted Blitzer’s “wife’s husband,” mocking the CNN anchor in the process.
“I won’t talk about your marriage, but I’ll quote your wife’s husband,” Conway said. “In 2017 you asked Angus King, ‘Are we getting closer to impeachment?’ Does anybody ever feel badly about getting it so wrong?”
Conway then pointed out that the clip of her husband is the same rhetoric used “every single day” by other voices on liberal networks.
“But you wanted to put it in my husband’s voice, because you think somehow that it will help your ratings or that you’re really sticking it to Kellyanne Conway. Let me be very clear, you didn’t stick it to Kellyanne Conway,” she said. “I think you embarrassed yourself.”