A rift between Kellyanne Conway, one of Donald Trump’s closest advisors, and her husband has been laid bare in a remarkable interview with the couple inside their home.
George Conway, a lawyer, has become an increasingly loud critic of Mr Trump on Twitter – despite his wife having managed the president’s campaign and taken a senior role in the White House
He described how he was "saddened" by Mr Trump in an in depth Washington Post feature entitled “She works for Trump. He can’t stand him", which suggested the president was driving a wedge between the married couple.
“I feel there’s a part of him that thinks I chose Donald Trump over him,” Mrs Conway told the reporter who visited the couple in their Washington home. “Which is ridiculous. One is my work and one is my marriage.”
Mrs Conway’s job title is now Counsellor to the President, and she has taken control of his drive to reduce opioid abuse. She is also among the most strident, and sought-after, defenders of the president on television.
Mr Conway had previously described it as “absurd” that the president so often says one thing and then does the opposite, and wrote a 3,473-word essay rebutting Mr Trump’s assertion that Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation was “unconstitutional.”
Mrs Conway says that she finds her husband’s new-found hobby of criticising the president on Twitter “impolite”.
“I think it’s disrespectful,” she said. “I think it disrespects his wife.”
She also was at pains to stress to the paper how independent she is.
Interesting analogy. Likewise, what if a CEO routinely made false and misleading statements about himself, the company, and results, and publicly attacked business partners, company “divisions” (w/ scare quotes!), employees, and analysts, and kowtowed to a dangerous competitor? https://t.co/dTjUk7kApQ
— George Conway (@gtconway3d) August 14, 2018
“Nobody knows who I am because of my husband,” she said. “People know of my husband because of me.”
Mr Conway, by turn, suggested he now regrets ever introducing his wife to the former tycoon.
In 2001, shortly after they were married, the couple moved into Trump World Tower in New York. Mr Conway was asked to join the building’s management board, but declined – instead, he put forward his wife.
“Knowing what I know now, I would have said no, and never mentioned it when I got home,” he said.
But Mr Conway insisted that, despite their disagreements, they remained happily married.
“If there’s an issue, it’s because she’s in that job, for that man,” he said.
“If my wife were the counsellor to the CEO of Pepsi and I had a problem with her boss, I would simply drink my Coke and keep my mouth shut.
“If the president were simply mediocre or even bad, I’d have nothing to say. This is much different.”
He insisted he was proud of his wife, but “just saddened by how things turned out.”
“Her problem is with her boss, not me,” he said.