Conway: If I Were Killed, ‘Half of Twitter Would Explode In Applause’

White House senior advisor Kellyanne Conway listens to a question from a reporter during a press conference at the North Carolina Republican Party State Convention at the Wilmington Convention Center in Wilmington, N.C., Saturday, June 3, 2017. (AP Photo/Mike Spencer)
Mike Spencer/FR171472 AP

White House aide Kellyanne Conway urged reflection on Friday about the coarseness of political rhetoric in the aftermath of the shooting at a Republican congressional baseball team practice.

Though Conway emphasized repeatedly in an interview with “Fox & Friends” Friday that “nobody is responsible for this shooting except the shooter,” she spent most of her remarks on the incident singling out Democrats and the media for their “hateful” rhetoric regarding President Donald Trump and other Republicans.

“We will continue to disagree on policy and on issues. But I really would ask people to think about the hateful rhetoric,” Conway said. “This man, the shooter the other day, didn’t hate baseball. He hated Republicans. And his social media feed was a complete anti-Trump, anti-Republican screed. I mean for those, particularly in the media, who are so obsessed with the President’s social media postings, why isn’t everybody looking inside a little bit at what they’re posting and what they’re saying?”

“Really, nobody is responsible for this shooting except the shooter,” she continued. “There is no question about that. At the same time, you can oppose policies, but [unintelligible] with such hateful charged rhetoric that active resistance becomes armed resistance in the case of this lone gunman.”

Host Pete Hegseth asked Conway if she thought Democratic leadership was doing enough to tone down their rhetoric in the aftermath in the shooting. Conway had earlier noted that “our leader, President Donald Trump, is being a healer-in-chief. He is being just remarkably wonderful to the entire country, calling for unity, praying for those who have been injured for their full recovery. And in the shadow of that, you have people reverting to their hateful rhetoric already again, just yesterday. I think the unity lasted a hot minute for some leaders.”

Conway did not mention Trump calling federal and congressional investigators “some very bad and conflicted people” on Thursday, nor Eric Trump, the President’s son, saying on June 6: “To me, they’re not even people,” referring to his President’s political opponents.

Conway responded to Hegseth by mentioning House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) specifically, who she said was “pointing the finger already,” on Thursday.

On Thursday, Pelosi seemed to refer to a man, Gregory Giusti, who in 2010 was arrested for threatening her. Giusti’s mother told a news outlet: “I say Fox News, or all of those that are really radical, and he, that’s where he comes from.” “This mom said it was Fox News,” Pelosi said.

“Right now, I think our energy should be used, and our thoughts and prayers, for Steve Scalise,” Pelosi said in the same response to a reporter’s question.

Two days ago she said she, quote, prays for — she hopes for the success of Donald Trump’s presidency, and yesterday she was pointing fingers again,” Conway said, referring to Pelosi.

Conway urged Fox News’ audience to “go back and see what people were saying about the President and the Republicans at that very moment” that “Steve Scalise was fighting for his life and crawling into right field, in a trail of blood.”

Look at Twitter,” Conway said. “If I were shot and killed tomorrow, half of Twitter would explode in applause and excitement. This is the world we live in now.” She also pointed to two congresswomen who “have been directly threatened since this happened, as have others.”

“Look, this is also the natural byproduct if you have images of the President being shot in rapper’s videos, of being assassinated in a production there in New York City, the picture of a severed head,” she said, concluding the point. “I mean, all of that is a toxic stew. Again, there is no one to blame but the shooter here, but the calls for tamping down also should be very — there should be some introspection there.”

Watch some of Conway’s response below, via Fox News:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt Shuham is a news writer for TPM. He was previously assistant editor of The National Memo and managing editor of the Harvard Political Review. He is available by email at mshuham@talkingpointsmemo.com and on Twitter @mattshuham.
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