One week after White House counselor Kellyanne Conway blew up at a CNN anchor for questioning her husband’s anti-Trump tweets, George Conway is at it again Thursday with a new one on Twitter

By Diane Herbst
May 03, 2018 05:01 PM
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Less than two weeks after White House counselor Kellyanne Conway blew up at a CNN anchor for questioning her husband’s anti-Trump tweets, George Conway is at it again Thursday with a new one on Twitter.

Conway was defensive and accusatory on April 22 when CNN’s Dana Bash asked Conway about a pattern of tweets from her husband, attorney George Conway, critical of Trump and his White House, telling Bash she was “harassing” her and saying she was surprised Bash “would go there” with questions about Kellyanne’s spouse. The prickly and heated exchange, at the end of an otherwise predictable Sunday talk-show appearance, sparked speculation of some deeper issue between the Conways.

Now, shortly after Trump revealed in a series of early-morning tweets that he reimbursed his personal attorney Michael Cohen for the $130,000 payment Cohen made to porn star Stormy Daniels in the final days of the 2016 election, George Conway dropped a big hint on Twitter that this was a no-no.

Kellyanne Conway
Gerald Herbert/AP

The attorney tweeted a link to Federal Election Commission Rules related to personal loans that say if anyone “gives or loans the candidate money ‘for the purpose of influencing any election for federal office,’ the funds are not considered personal funds of the candidate…”

“Instead, the gift or loan is considered a contribution from the donor to the campaign, subject to the per-election limit and reportable by the campaign.”

Contrary to Trump’s claim on Twitter that the money had “nothing to do with the campaign,” the payment was a campaign-related expense, Norm Eisen, former ethics chief for the President Obama White House, argues to PEOPLE.

Days before the election, Cohen paid the porn star who claims she had an sexual encounter with Trump — a payment she says was intended to keep her silent about the alleged 2006 affair. (Trump has denied the affair.)

Eisen argues that if Daniels hadn’t been silenced, she would have had an impact on the election.

The payment is likely an illegal loan to the campaign by Michael Cohen and its repayment an unreported — and unlawful — campaign expenditure by Trump, Eisen alleges.

Eisen and his group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington have filed a criminal and ethics complaint with the Justice Department and the Office of Government Ethics regarding the payment.

“You are not allowed to make a $130,000 in-kind contribution for the purpose of benefiting a campaign,” says Eisen.

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George Conway’s tweet follows revelations by Rudy Giuliani on Wednesday that Trump reimbursed Cohen for the money he paid to Daniels — contradicting Trump’s prior claims that he had no knowledge of the payment.

And by admitting these payments, the president has also admitted to filing a false financial disclosure form, since the liability was not listed, alleges Eisen.

“That is potentially a crime under 18 U.S.C. § 1001, making a false statement,” Eisen alleges. “It is probable cause he hid his debt on his federal financial filings and that is potentially a criminal violation.”

George Conway
Chip Somodevilla/Getty

Did George Conway’s tweet implicate Cohen and Trump? “Yes, that’s correct,” argues Eisen.

While Kellyanne Conway has been one of Trump’s most vociferous supporters, her husband, George, has been a frequent critic of Trump on Twitter, most recently saying in a since-deleted tweet how “absurd” it was for President Trump to keep contradicting his own aides.

When CNN’s Bash asked Kellyanne last week about her husband’s anti-Trump tweets, Kellyanne accused the newswoman of attempting to “harass and embarrass” her on air.

Here’s how social media users are reacting to George Conway’s latest tweet:

“Looking forward to your wife ranting at CNN for asking about this tweet,” said one tweeter.

Pollster Matt McDermott wrote, “In case you were uncertain, Kellyanne Conway’s husband would like you to know the exact campaign finance statute Trump and Cohen both violated. Thanks, George!”

And after CNN’s Jim Sciutto tweeted with a link to George Conway’s tweet: “This is the husband of the president’s close advisor @KellyannePolls sharing the campaign finance law he seems to believe Trump and Cohen might have broken,” one commenter replied: “Watch it Jim. You’re setting yourself up to get the Dana Bash treatment from KAC.”