Kellyanne Conway and Jake Tapper had an intense interview on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday, with Conway deflecting Tapper’s questions about why members of Donald Trump’s team retweeted a message claiming there had been an assassination attempt on the Republican presidential candidate.
Tapper was referring to an incident in Reno, Nevada, on Saturday, when Trump was rushed off the stage by the Secret Service after a man attempted to raise a “Republicans Against Trump” sign and a crowd member falsely yelled that the protestor had a gun. Donald Trump Jr. and Trump social media director Dan Scavino retweeted misinformation that the incident was an assassination attempt.
Tapper asked Conway, Trump’s campaign manager, whether they should be retweeting the claims. “It’s scary, I mean, all the coverage is usually about our protestors wreaking havoc and making people feel afraid, and it certainly goes both ways,” she said. “I’m glad nobody was hurt, but it does remind you that in these closing days, especially as the polls tighten, many of us are getting more death threats, getting more angry messages on social media and elsewhere, and it’s a pretty fraught environment there.”
Conway mentioned that the protestor previously canvassed for Hillary Clinton and donated to her campaign before Tapper brought the conversation back to his initial question. “We’re very happy that this was not an assassination attempt, but why is your campaign spreading that it was?” said Tapper.
“First of all, that’s really remarkable, I have to say, that that’s what the story line is here,” she replied.
Conway later attempted to turn the tables, accusing CNN of misleading its viewers on the state of the campaign. “Are CNN going to retract all the story lines, all the headlines, all the breathless predictions of the last two weeks that turned out not to be true: The race is over, the path is closed, it’s going to be a blow-out? You guys retract that, and I’ll give a call to Dan Scavino about the retweet.”
Tapper attempted to defend himself, saying that he “never reported anything along those lines” and has always said it was going to be a close election.
“I love CNN, but you’ve got to be honest here — the so-called experts constantly saying, ‘She can’t lose, the race is over, the path is narrowed,'” she retorted. “And you know what, I actually thank you guys in part.”
“You can say wow all you want,” Tapper quipped. “I’ve never said that the race was over. We can replay as many tapes as you want.”
Watch the contentious interview below.