Kellyanne Conway is back, mixing it up with cable TV hosts and refusing to answer questions she considers insults.
But she says she’s no Joan of Arc.
And she certainly doesn’t want to go viral.
“I know that’s the new thing,” the counselor to the president told Chris Cuomo on CNN.
“That’s the new thing to try to go viral. But here’s those of us who do want the truth, OK?”
The once ubiquitous Trump spokeswoman has been keeping a decidedly low profile in recent months — so much so that “Saturday Night Live” did a skit last week asking “Where in the World is Kellyanne Conway?”
Conway resurfaced in the wake of Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey, sparring with Anderson Cooper on CNN Tuesday night, and Cuomo Wednesday morning.
And she made it clear she shares her boss’s opinion that the investigation into collusion with the Russians is a bunch of nonsense.
“The president is not under investigation. I’m around the president. I’m not under investigation. I can name many people in that same situation,” Conway told Cooper.
Conway did not explain why she has been less visible on the cable TV circuit, but she hadn’t lost any of her appetite for verbal combat.
“Chris let me know, you want me to ask the questions? Because you’re giving all the answers,” she told Cuomo at one point.
“Let me know when I can answer.”
“Knock yourself out,” Cuomo responded.
“Well I’m going to knock this out of the park by telling you that I’m sure it will go viral now that you’ve used the words naïve and deceptive. People will think you used those words about me although you were talking about a state of mind I’m sure—”
Cuomo answered that he was “talking about this narrative coming out of the White House.”
“I know that’s the new thing. That’s the new thing to try to go viral. But here’s those of us who do want the truth OK? The idea that you think that this was about Russia and not about a FBI director who just yesterday forced his Bureau to correct sworn testimony to the Senate Judiciary.”
Conway also took frequent potshots at the media.
“The media doesn’t like surprises,” she told Cuomo. “The media don’t like surprises. They don’t like being caught flat-footed. And yet I don’t know why people are so surprised when Donald Trump who’s not part of the swamp, who’s a non-politician … who’s taken decisive actions his entire life, been a disrupter his entire life, when he comes to Washington does the same and people express shock and awe.”
Conway took exception when Cuomo asked whether Attorney General, Jeff Sessions urged Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to author the report the administration said led to Comey’s firing.
“Well, now you’re insulting him too,” Conway said.
“I’m not insulting him. I’m asking you a question,” Cuomo said.
“Don’t call me a Joan of Arc,” Conway said, launching into a defense of Rosenstein that ended with her and Cuomo squabbling about making the argument personal.
Conway also refused to answer whether Trump had a permanent replacement for Comey lined up.
“You know you want to question the timing of when he fires, when he hires,” she said. “It’s inappropriate. He’ll do it when he wants to, just like he fired FBI Director Comey when he was faced with evidence that was un-ignorable now. I mean read this report.”
Crossing swords with Cooper Tuesday night, Conway lashed out at the cable host for mentioning Democrats.
“No, you did. You said the Democrats don’t have confidence. You just said that. You said Democrat a couple of times, Anderson, respectfully.
“Let’s talk about the Democrats. These are same Democrats who can’t muster up a single vote for health care, single vote for budgetary matters? Three whole votes on Judge Gorsuch, even though a dozen of them voted for him 11 short years ago to be a circuit court judge.
“These are same Democrats who go out there every single day and say our job is to resist and obstruct. They don’t want our democracy and our government to work well. … Let’s focus on what happened today.”
But the sharpest exchange came after Cooper played a series of video clips showing Trump praising Comey in the past.
“You’re conflating two things that don’t belong together,” Conway said. “Thanks for the trip down memory lane.”
Cooper countered: “So that person doesn’t exist anymore? Candidate Donald Trump — that’s a fictional character we no longer allowed to refer to. We can now only refer to Donald Trump who exists today?”
“Anderson, I’ll ignore how unkind that is, and I’ll say as president of the United States, he needs confidence in his FBI director, and he doesn’t have it.”
Conway repeatedly insisted Comey’s firing had nothing to do with Russia and everything to do with restoring trust in the FBI.
“This had nothing to do with Russia as much as somebody must be getting $50 every time the word is said I’m convinced on TV. This has nothing to with Russia. It’s everything to do with whether the current FBI director has the president’s confidence and can faithfully and capably execute his duties.”