Jake Tapper Grills Kellyanne Conway on Trump Administration Lies

Yesterday afternoon, Kellyanne Conway, one of President Trump’s senior advisers, appeared for an extended interview on CNN’s The Lead with Jake Tapperand the results were, well let’s just call them interesting:

Top White House adviser Kellyanne Conway has apologized for citing a fake “massacre” in support of Donald Trump’s travel ban, in an interview on CNN in which she acknowledged that not all of the mainstream media can fairly be characterized as “fake news”.

Conway said “regretted tremendously” shaming the press for not covering the “Bowling Green massacre”, an event that did not happen, when she was defending Trump’s immigration crackdown.

During a 25-minute appearance on “The Lead with Jake Tapper” Tuesday, Conway criticized the media for sloppy reporting. But she conceded that it was unfair to label CNN as “fake news” — as Trump has done previously.

“I don’t think CNN is ‘fake news.’ I think there are some reports everywhere, in print, on TV, on radio, in conversation, that are not well-researched and are sometimes based on falsehoods,” Conway said.

Trump has continually slammed major media organizations, including The New York Times and The Washington Post, as well as CNN, as “fake news.”

Conway said she was “trying to reach out” to the media and “put out the olive branch.”

At one point, Conway seemed to argue that the President offering blatant falsehoods as truth should matter less than his perceived accomplishments.

“Are they (falsehoods) more important than the many things that he says that are true that are making a difference in people’s lives?” Conway asked.

Tapper asked Conway about some of Trump’s false claims, including his claim earlier Tuesday that the murder rate was at the highest point in 47 years — which is wrong.

“Everyday there are these sprays of attack and sprays of falsehoods coming from the White House. It would be better if they were not coming from the White House, for me and for you,” Tapper said, adding that it inhibits news organizations’ ability to focus solely on policy.

“Agreed, and let me just say it has to go both ways. I do, Jake, I sincerely don’t see a lot of difference in coverage from when he was a candidate and when he became the Republican nominee, the president-elect and, indeed the President,” Conway said.

Conway also apologized for shaming the press for not covering the “Bowling Green Massacre,” an incident which did not occur.

“I regretted it tremendously,” Conway said. “I felt really badly about that.”

Tapper asked Conway to grapple with the President’s claim on Monday that the press does not cover terrorism and has an unstated reason for doing so. On Monday, the White House released a list of 78 attacks saying: “Most of these attacks did not receive adequate attention from Western media sources.”

The list included many attacks covered extensively by CNN and other news outlets.

Conway conceded that many of the attacks were indeed covered extensively,

“Obviously, the very sad incidents that you’ve related … frankly, CNN did amazing coverage for weeks at a time,” Conway said.

But she said other attacks weren’t covered enough relative to Trump’s candidacy or the death of the singer Prince and alleged claims that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Trump’s 2016 rival, treated terrorism too lightly.

Tapper responded: “Facts are stubborn things, and to say that we’re not reporting something that happens not to be true — therefore we’re not to be trusted — that’s a problem.”

“I’m among, if not the most open press person in the White House … I’m now being attacked by the media,” Conway said. “I’m just going to keep soldiering on.”

On the point of attacks Trump himself has ignored, Tapper asked about a recent shooting in Quebec, where a man stands accused of murdering Muslims. Trump did not issue a tweet or other public statement in response to the event.

“I know he’s sympathetic to any loss of life,” Conway said. “I will ask him. He doesn’t tweet about everything.”

This is yet another example of why I consider Jake Tapper to be one of the best journalists on cable news right now. The entire video runs 25 minutes, but it’s really worth watching if you have the time since it shows just how invested in dodging reality this Administration actually is:

FILED UNDER: Terrorism, US Politics, , , , , , , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Franklin says:

    On the point of attacks Trump himself has ignored, Tapper asked about a recent shooting in Quebec, where a man stands accused of murdering Muslims. Trump did not issue a tweet or other public statement in response to the event.

    But his spokesperson Sean Spicer did: “It’s a terrible reminder of why we must remain vigilant and why the president is taking steps to be proactive instead of reactive when it comes to our nation’s safety and security.” So apparently we should ban Muslims, just to make sure they don’t get attacked by a white supremacist?

    Also, it could be noted that Donald Trump, Jr. re-tweeted a message that implied the attacker was Muslim.

    It also shouldn’t be forgotten that the Quebec shooter was a big Trump fan.

    I just can’t figure out why Trump has been silent on this issue.

  2. Argon says:

    “I regretted it tremendously,” Conway said. “I felt really badly about that [because it clearly didn’t work as well as I expected].”

    Fixed that for her.

  3. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    That interview was a thing of beauty…not just because Tapper held Conway’s feet to the fire…but because it shows the 4th Estate still can play an important role in our Republic. Republicans are not going to put up any resistance to Trump. The press must.
    Of course Spicer, not to be out-done, responded by making up his own terrorist attack.

  4. Mr. Bluster says:

    …it’s really worth watching if you have the time since it shows just how invested in dodging reality this Administration actually is:..

    Mr Trump tweeted that “Ivanka has been treated so unfairly” by clothing retailer Nordstrom.

    What’s the matter with everyone? Can’t you see he is spending all his energy protecting America from those nasty foreign immigrant retailers! Before you know it he will be dictating a ban on Lutherans from Sweden to protect the US auto market from being flooded with Volvos!

  5. Tony W says:

    Somebody needs to get Conway some creme for those burns…..

  6. CSK says:


    You should know that the Trumpkins have established beyond a doubt that the Muslim was the killer and the French-surnamed guy is being framed.


    Then why did she repeat the lie to Cosmopolitan magazine?

  7. Liberal Capitalist says:

    OK… I’m having serious problems here.

    There are SO many wildly insane events, so many things that if President Obama had even come half as far, then the GOP would have had pitchforks and torches in the streets, with demands of impeachment.

    I am seriously being affected in the workplace, as my focus to the tasks-at-hand is just shot.

    Tales of 30 hour detention at our borders without any access to legal representation, confiscation of US land to give to foreign oil companies, a plan to eliminate the heath care of 30 million Americans, politicians running from their constituents, a president concerned more about his daughters fashion line than a botched raid that resulted in two American and 30 civilian deaths… the list goes on and on.

    Seriously people… WTF.

    If someone has some tips of keeping calm while the titanic sinks, I’m all ears.

  8. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl: Yes, by all means, Spicer should be reminding people of who Eric Rudolph is, and who he attacked, and why.

  9. Dazedandconfused says:

    Sometimes I wonder how rank BS became “part of the conversation”. This is Kellyanne’s specialty, and she is something of a Michael Jordan at it.

    I suspect it’s the nature of 24 hour media. They live in abject fear of dead air had have thereby been programmed not to say anything which “ends the conversation”. This has also resulted in the selection of the gift for gab above all other virtues for personnel and they are at a loss to deal with even hacks at this game. “Liar” and all iterations of “gethafuggouttahere” have been effectively banned by this evolution.

    It is a condition ripe for exploitation and now has been so, and to the nth in the form of Kellyanne. May she serve us as The One who is so talented she ruins the game. The form of The Destroyer has been selected.