During an interview on CNN Friday morning, White House senior adviser Kellyanne Conway would not say whether she was comfortable with the revelation that a top staffer at a data firm employed by the Trump campaign reached out to Wikileaks during the campaign.
CNN’s Alisyn Camerota repeatedly asked Conway, who served as President Donald Trump’s campaign manager, if she was comfortable with the firm’s contact with Wikileaks, and Conway dodged the question several times.
The Daily Beast reported Wednesday that Alexander Nix, the head of the data firm Cambridge Analytica, which worked for the Trump campaign, reached out to Julian Assange and asked if the firm could help Wikileaks release Hillary Clinton’s emails. It’s the strongest reported link so far between the Trump campaign and Russia.
When first asked about this news, Conway told Camerota that she is only aware of what she’s read in the news about the interaction. She noted that Cambridge Analytica was not solely responsible for the Trump campaign’s data operation. Camerota followed up and asked Conway if she was uncomfortable with the firm’s interaction with Wikileaks.
“Any of that was completely unnecessary, for a very simple reason. We beat Hillary Clinton fairly and squarely,” Conway replied.
Camerota asked again if Conway was comfortable with the contact with Wikileaks.
“They didn’t have a connection to Wikileaks,” Conway responded.
“They reached out to help with the data,” Camerota retorted.
“No, not to help with the data. It’s something about releasing the emails. I know nothing about that because I was the campaign manager and I couldn’t be bothered with that,” Conway then replied.
Camerota then asked Conway if she is comfortable with the news that the firm reached out to Wikileaks about Clinton’s emails. Conway emphasized that one “individual reached out to Julian Assange” in an apparent attempt to distance the Trump campaign with the interaction.
The CNN host tried again to ask Conway if she was comfortable with the interaction, prompting Conway to respond, “I have already told you it’s completely unnecessary because we beat her on the issues and continue to.” Conway then bashed CNN for its coverage of Clinton, and after a back and forth with Camerota, the two agreed not to mention Clinton for the remainder of the interview.
However, Camerota asked Conway once more whether she was comfortable with Cambridge Analytica’s contact with Wikileaks.
“I’ve answered your questions. Uncomfortable with what? I told you it wasn’t necessary. I was focused on the issues,” Conway replied.