Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., told Fox News on Wednesday that while he would prefer President Trump not focus on White House counselor Kellyanne Conway's husband -- and frequent critic -- George Conway, he believes the president simply has been frustrated.
“I think it’s very frustrating for the president to see the difficult circumstances that Kellyanne is put in. She obviously is one of the most trusted advisers in the White House and not just within the White House but beyond,” Gaetz said on “The Story.” “I think it’s frustrating for him to see George Conway be so critical when Kellyanne has been such a part of the great success that’s driving country.”
George Conway repeatedly has questioned the president’s mental health on social media, all while his wife continues to work at the White House.
“George Conway, often referred to as Mr. Kellyanne Conway by those who know him, is VERY jealous of his wife’s success & angry that I, with her help, didn’t give him the job he so desperately wanted. I barely know him but just take a look, a stone cold LOSER & husband from hell!” Trump tweeted Wednesday.
Conway reacted by tweeting, “You seem determined to prove my point. Good for you! #NarcissisticPersonalityDisorder.”
Gaetz defended Trump against the accusation he has “narcissistic personality disorder.”
“Obviously that’s a view held by someone who doesn’t get to see how he, I think, feels for the country and does a lot to see that people live better lives,” Gaetz said.
“I don’t think it elevates the presidency or the country to be talking about somebody’s marriage. I think the president should focus on the amazing economic success he’s having. The renegotiating of trade deals and really the fact that we roll into a 2020 election cycle where Republicans are more enthusiastic than Democrats and with a lot of good reason.”
Gaetz also defended the president’s recent attacks on the late Arizona senator John McCain, blaming deep-seated resentment over McCain's role in the failure to repeal ObamaCare.
“It was John McCain, I think, more wanting to stick it to the president than reflect even his own beliefs,” Gaetz told Fox News’ Ed Henry. “I think it’s reasonable for the president to be very frustrated and let down by that.”
McCain died last August after a battle with cancer.
Fox News' Ed Henry and Brooke Singman contributed to this report.