#BeBest pic.twitter.com/MIhY5Avh81— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 20, 2019
Kellyanne Conway on Wednesday defended President Donald Trump’s attacks on her husband George Conway saying he’s “a counterpuncher” and asserting that the president is free to respond when he’s accused of having a mental illness.
“He left it alone for months out of respect for me,” Conway, a senior Trump aide, told POLITICO in a brief telephone interview. “But you think he shouldn’t respond when somebody, a non-medical professional accuses him of having a mental disorder? You think he should just take that sitting down?”
“Don't play psychiatrist any more than George should be,” she added. “You're not a psychiatrist and he's not, respectfully.”
Conway’s defense of her boss comes as Trump has spent the past two days ripping her husband on Twitter. While the president has generally restrained from attacking George Conway, a longtime conservative lawyer who has repeatedly mocked Trump on Twitter, he broke from that habit on Monday after George Conway claimed he suffered from mental illness.
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“George Conway, often referred to as Mr. Kellyanne Conway by those who know him, is VERY jealous of his wife’s success & angry that I, with her help, didn’t give him the job he so desperately wanted,” Trump tweeted Wednesday morning. “I barely know him but just take a look, a stone cold LOSER & husband from hell!”
Trump later on Wednesday took the Twitter feud offline, telling reporters that George Conway is a “whack job” and doing a “tremendous disservice to a wonderful wife.”
George Conway responded in kind to the latest attacks, sending more than two dozen tweets on Wednesday in which he called Trump “nuts” and re-upped his claim that the president suffers from narcissistic personality disorder.
The vicious back-and-forth has grabbed headlines during an otherwise tense week. The White House is anticipating the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, and the president has vented about everything from late Sen. John McCain to Saturday Night Live to Fox News.
In the summer of 1972, Martha Mitchell was on the telephone in her hotel room in Newport Beach, California, when a security guard for President Richard Nixon’s reelection campaign walked over and yanked the cord out of the wall. According to Mitchell, for the next 24 hours, the guard, who was working on orders from her husband, former attorney general John Mitchell, refused to let her leave. Every time she tried to escape, the guard caught her. Later she recounted, “From then on I saw no one — allowed no food — and literally kept a prisoner.” At more than one point, things got physical. Mitchell said that the guard, Stephen King, kicked her and, later, during one of her escape attempts, put her hand through a glass window, causing an injury that required six stitches. The incident was humiliating. Mitchell reported, “He came into my room while the doors were closed and I was undressed.” At some point, King called a doctor, who walked into the room without saying a word to Mitchell. He and King threw her on the bed and held her down while the doctor removed her pants and administered a tranquilizing shot to her rear end.
Mitchell wasn’t being held captive as a part of some ransom scheme. It was a threat and a sinister political maneuver. That summer, Nixon was running for reelection, and her husband was serving as the campaign’s manager. A 53-year-old southern belle from Pine Bluff, Arkansas, she was a lively figure in the Washington social scene, known for her humorous tirades against liberals and communists and her willingness to say exactly what she thought. But perhaps more impressive than her talk were her powers of observation. Mitchell was known to listen in on her husband’s meetings and report back to her journalist friends. When four burglars were arrested for breaking into the Democratic National Committee headquarters, Mitchell recognized one of them and guessed that her husband and the president were involved, though she couldn’t say exactly how. She got on the phone with a reporter friend to voice her lurking suspicions. Thus began what she called “the most horrible experience I ever had,” which culminated in a sexist campaign to discredit a woman who knew too much.