White House counselor Kellyanne Conway on Monday’s ABC Good Morning America denied that her recent comments about surveillance were a suggestion that Trump Tower may have been monitored. It appears that Conway’s position is that, despite being asked a direct question about surveillance of Trump Towers, she chose to answer a completely different and unasked question.
“I wasn’t making a suggestion about Trump Tower. Those are two separate things,” Conway told ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
“But that’s what you were asked about,” ABC News host George Stephanopoulos said.
“And I answered him about surveilling generally,” Conway responded. “I have no evidence, but that’s why there’s an investigation in Congress. That’s particularly what investigations are for,” Conway added.
Trump earlier this month tweeted that former President Obama ordered surveillance on Trump Tower before the presidential election. Trump did not provide any evidence to support this claim, despite multiple requests. Obama’s spokesperson denied that any White House official ordered surveillance.
The House Select Committee on Intelligence has asked that the White House provide any evidence of the alleged wiretapping by Monday.
The problem here is that Conway is asked on shows to explain what the President refuses to explain. Repeatedly she has evaded questions, provided misleading answers, or what she has termed “alternate facts.” By definition, an “alternate fact” is a “lie.” This has led many to wonder why Conway is appearing in front of the media at all? With each new appearance there follows a Twitter storm of users calling for a media boycott of Conway.
At the heart of this situation is the Trump Chaos. The President believes what he reads or sees on sites of dubious reputation with stories that have little to no evidence supporting their claims. He believes these things over what he is told by the US Intelligence Departments. This puts his spin doctors in the awkward position of having to back up claims that are often ridiculous. In one recent press conference, Press Secretary Sean Spicer couldn’t help but laugh at the contradictions. Trump’s staff can barely keep up with the whirlwind of fiction coming out of the White House.
Maybe, just maybe, we need journalists to take a cue from the Trump campaign. Stop being so polite. When sitting in a press conference and listening to obvious lies and distortions, stand up and say, “I’m going to have to call you out on this one. That’s simply not true, and unless you can provide evidence right now, we’ll assume you’re lying.” On Twitter people have used different words, but the sentiment is the same.
There are rules of engagement in a conversation. Follow them or don’t pretend you’re having a discussion at all.