White House counselor Kellyanne Conway expressed frustration Friday at being asked repeatedly what President Donald Trump was doing to discourage future election interference by Russia, eventually suggesting that Americans who doubted Trump could win the election similarly interfered in the democratic process.
The Washington Post reported Friday that the White House had received intelligence from the CIA last summer that showed Russian President Vladimir Putin personally ordered a cyber campaign to disrupt the 2016 election, with the goal of hurting Hillary Clinton’s chances.
In an appearance on CNN’s “New Day,” Conway was asked for the White House response to the report. Instead, she pointed to various officials who she said had confirmed that there had been “no evidence of collusion, number one, and number two, that this didn’t have an impact on the electoral result.”
“You’ve got everyone saying that there is no nexus, that not a single vote changed and we’re going to stand by that,” she added. “We know that Donald Trump won fairly and squarely, 306 electoral votes had nothing to do with interference.”
Host Alisyn Camerota tried to steer the conversation to the question at hand: The Post’s report on the evidence that Putin himself had ordered the election interference. “What is the current White House doing about this?” she asked.
“Well, Alisyn, the President has said previously, and he stands by that, particularly as President-elect, that he would be concerned about anybody interfering in our democracy,” Conway said.
“We saw a lot of people interfering with our democracy by saying he couldn’t win here at home,” she added, presumably referring to pundits who doubted Trump’s chances of winning the election.
Conway changed topics, pointing to former DHS Chief Jeh Johnson’s testimony Wednesday that, in Conway’s words, the Democratic National Committee “refused” federal help in dealing with the hack of their servers (the actual timeline of events is complicated). That prompted Camerota to ask again: “What is the White House, what is President Trump now doing to prevent Russia from doing this again?”
“This report is new and we’ll discuss it with him later,” Conway said. “He’s been very clear on the record that he believes in any type of numbers of measures to make sure that democracy flourishes and that our voter integrity is intact, and in fact he has an entire commission on that.”
“Such as?” Camerota pressed. “I mean, against Russia what is he doing specifically to try to stop this?”
“Alisyn, I realize that we just like to say the word ‘Russia, Russia’ to mislead the voters,” Conway said. “And I know that CNN is aiding and abetting this nonsense as well, but you’ve asked me the same question three times now and I’ve answered it.”
Watch below via CNN:
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