White House counselor Kellyanne Conway failed to offer a direct response when asked whether President Trump “believes that war crimes are a thing” during a press availability Monday at the White House.
After Trump threatened to destroy Iran’s culturally significant sites on Saturday night, the President doubled down on his threat the day after by arguing that his tweets are official notice to Congress on attacks against Iran.
When asked if the President is “willing to violate international law by striking Iranian cultural sites,” Conway dodged by pointing out that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that “we will be within the law, and I think that Iran has many military, strategic military sites that you may cite are also cultural sites.”
But when Breakfast Media correspondent Andrew Feinberg asked her if she was “saying that Iran is camouflaging or concealing military targets within cultural sites,” Conway initially denied, only to later add, “I mean, maybe,” before reiterating that Pompeo said “we will be under the law.”
The back-and-forth between Feinberg and Conway then took a turn once the reporter pointed out that “what the secretary of state may have said before” Trump doubled down on his threat to attack Iranian cultural sites, “the President immediately contradicted.”
Conway hit back by asking Feinberg if he wanted to “talk about hypotheticals that may happen” instead of talking “about the fact that Soleimani” is dead.
Conway repeated the same deflection tactic when another reporter pressed her on the same topic, asking the reporter “are you speaking about hypotheticals?” She said that she’s “gotta deal in reality today because [the Soleimani strike] was a big deal.”
After Feinberg jumped in and told Conway that the reporter is “asking about something the President of the United States said on the record,” Conway responded that Trump has “identified sites,” which she would later clarify in the press conference that she meant that the President “has identified those sites and has said that it may happen if Iran retaliates in a certain way.”
But when told by a reporter that the potential move “would still violate international law if they are cultural sites,” Conway responded: “If, if, if. I’m telling you. Get it.”
Watch Conway’s remarks via Mediaite here.