From Alternative Facts to Sesame Street: Kellyanne Conway's Most Talked-About TV Moments
Kellyanne Conway has coined a few new terms and made some memes during her time in the White House
Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway has become the face of Donald Trump’s administration on television. On any given day, she’s on Fox News, or MSNBC, or CNN, putting out fires — and starting new ones. Here are the appearances that made headlines, coined new terms (see: “alternative facts”), graced the opening monologues of late-night TV and spawned countless memes.
1. Alternative facts.
Just two days into the Trump presidency, while discussing the inauguration on Meet the Press, Conway attempted to defend Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s claims that the crowds at Trump’s inauguration were the biggest ever. Spicer, she said, “gave alternative facts.” Todd was quick to point out that alternative facts are not facts, they’re falsehoods.
The phrase “alternative facts” quickly made its way to meme status, with celebrities jumping on the bandwagon.
2. The Anderson Cooper eye roll.
Cooper hosted Conway on his show in May to talk about Trump’s sudden firing of former FBI Director James Comey. In a tense moment, Cooper asked Conway about inconsistencies in how Comey dealt with the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails last year, but she didn’t answer, instead talking about how she predicted a Trump win in Michigan last fall. This led Cooper to roll his eyes, providing the internet with a seriously gold-worthy GIF.
3. The Bowling Green massacre.
During an appearance on MSNBC’s Hardball, Conway lamented that the “Bowling Green massacre” —which she said was plotted by “two Iraqis” who were “radicalized”—didn’t receive enough media coverage. “Most people don’t know about that because it didn’t get covered,” Conway said. Only problem? Said massacre never happened. What actually happened was two Al Qaeda terrorists were able to move to Bowling Green as refugees, which they later admitted in court. Conway clarified the remark on Twitter.
4. No evidence.
In a tweet, Trump explosively accused former President Barack Obama of wiretapping his phones during the 2016 campaign. As Conway worked to diffuse the fallout, she maintained in an interview with her hometown paper, the Bergen Record, that you could spy on someone through “microwaves that turn into cameras.” Later, on Good Morning America, she admitted she had no evidence for the president’s claims — nor for the existence of microwave-cameras.
5. “Go buy Ivanka’s stuff.”
After Nordstrom announced that they would no longer be carrying Ivanka Trump‘s retail line, Conway went on Fox & Friends and, broadcasting from the White House press briefing room, controversially pitched Ivanka’s wares: “This is just a wonderful line. I own some of it. I fully—I’m going to give a free commercial here. Go buy it today, everybody. You can find it online.” She was subsequently “counseled” about ethics rules, White House Deputy Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham confirmed to PEOPLE at the time.
6. Questioning Trump’s firing decisions is “inappropriate.”
On CNN’s New Day, Conway scolded Chris Cuomo for questioning the president’s decision to fire FBI Director James Comey: “If you want to question the time of when he fires, he when he hires, it’s inappropriate,” she said. “He’ll do it when he wants to.”
7. The Jake Tapper interview.
There wasn’t one particular moment with CNN anchor Jake Tapper that made headlines – instead, it was the whole, 25-minute-long interview that sent the Internet into convulsions. Tapper questioned Conway on the Bowling Green massacre blip, the president’s dubbing of CNN as “fake news,” and more.
8. Collusion, conclusion.
In the fallout over revelations that Donald Trump Jr. met with a “Russian government attorney” for dirt on Hillary Clinton during the 2016 campaign, Conway went on Hannity—with props—to shut down talk of “collusion” with Russia once and for all. In Sesame Street fashion, she held up one paper that read, “Conclusion? Collusion” (with an X drawn over the latter word), and a second page bearing the words “Illusion, Delusion.” “Conclusion, collusion no,” she said. “Illusion, delusion, yes. I just though we’d have some fun with words.”
Of course, it didn’t take long for Twitter users to start putting their own words on Conway’s paper props.