Kellyanne Conway

Kellyanne Conway

Senior Counselor

Executive Office of the President


One of President Trump’s closest advisers and strategists, Kellyanne Conway was central to many of the administration’s most abhorrent policies and positions, particularly on issues of race. Conway defended Trump’s racist attacks on congresswomen of color, supported the “Muslim ban,” and praised Trump’s response to white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, VA, among other incidents.

Vilifying Immigrants and Separating Families

  • Conway attempted to deflect blame from the Trump administration for its own family separation policy, saying during the height of family separations that “nobody likes” taking children from their parents and joined Trump in blaming Democrats for the policy’s continuation. [AP, 06/18/18]

Defending White Supremacy

  • As Senior Counselor, Conway defended a racist Trump tweet telling four congresswomen of color to “go back” to their countries, claiming that Trump only meant for the congresswomen to go back to where their families “originally” came from. She also asked about a journalist’s ethnicity while defending Trump’s remarks. [Washington Post, 07/16/19]
  • Conway justified the Trump administration’s ban on immigrants from Muslim-majority countries by citing the “Bowling Green Massacre,” referencing a non-existent terrorist attack. [The Atlantic, 02/03/17]

Undermining Democracy

  • Conway coined the phrase “alternative facts” to defend the persistent lies coming from the Trump administration [CNN, 01/23/17]
  • Fact checkers accused Conway of “spinning” Trump’s obstructive conduct following the release of the Mueller report. Conway implied the report exonerated Trump and said he did not interfere with the investigation, despite the actual report being clear that Trump was not exonerated of that charge. [, 3/26/19]

COVID Disinformation

  • In a Fox News interview, Conway falsely suggested the novel coronavirus was called “COVID-19” because it was the 19th iteration of the disease, adding that the World Health Organization should be on top of that. [Boston Globe, 4/16/20]
  • Conway defended Trump’s incorrect claim that children were “almost, and I would almost say definitely” immune from COVID-19, and argued that public health officials should listen to Trump when he talks about COVID. [Newsweek, 8/6/20]

News Coverage and Headlines

  • “Kellyanne Conway, President Trump’s departing counselor, said on Thursday that Mr. Trump stood to benefit politically from the kind of unrest that erupted this week in Kenosha, Wis., after the police shooting of an unarmed Black man, Jacob Blake. ‘The more chaos and anarchy and vandalism and violence reigns, the better it is for the very clear choice on who’s best on public safety and law and order,’ Ms. Conway said on ‘Fox & Friends.’” [New York Times, 08/27/20]
  • “When asked where Trump thought the lawmakers should ‘go back’ to, since they are US citizens, Conway asked the reporter Andrew Feinberg, ‘What’s your ethnicity?’ Feinberg questioned how Conway’s question was relevant to his inquiry. She insisted it was indeed relevant, stating, ‘It is, because you’re asking about … [Trump] said ‘originally.’ He said ‘originally from.’ And you know everything he has said since.’ ‘He’s tired,’ Conway went on to say of Trump, adding, ‘A lot of us are sick and tired of this country — of America coming last to people who swore an oath of office.’” [Business Insider, 07/16/19]
  • “In an interview on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press,’ host Chuck Todd pressed Trump senior adviser Kellyanne Conway about why the White House on Saturday had sent Spicer to the briefing podium for the first time to claim that ‘this was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period.’ ‘You’re saying it’s a falsehood. And they’re giving – Sean Spicer, our press secretary – gave alternative facts,’ she said.” [CNN, 01/23/17]
  • HEADLINE: “Kellyanne Conway Praises Trump Over Charlottesville Comments” [U.S. News, 4/29/2019]
  • HEADLINE: “Kellyanne Conway’s Legacy: The ‘Alternative Facts’-ification of the GOP” [Washington Post, 8/24/2020]