Kellyanne Conway confronted with past denial of Trump campaign contact with Russia
Kellyanne Conway tried to clarify her prior denials about Donald Trump associates meeting with Russian citizens about the 2016 election after it was revealed Sunday that Trump’s son, Donald Jr., had met with a Russian lawyer who claimed to have damaging information about Hillary Clinton.
Speaking to George Stephanopolous on ABC’s Good Morning America on Monday, Conway said, “some of the disclosure forms have been amended since that time and to reflect other meetings, including this one.”
Last year, Conway claimed on ABC that there was absolutely no contact between Trump campaign staffers and Russia. “I discussed that with the president-elect just last night. Those conversations never happened,” Conway said in December. “I hear people saying it like it’s a fact on television. That is just not only inaccurate and false but it’s dangerous and it does undermine our democracy.”
On Sunday after the New York Times reported on the meeting — which also included Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law, and Paul Manafort, the campaign manager at that time — Donald Jr. released a statement saying he only took the meeting on the request of an acquaintance because the Russian lawyer “might have information helpful to the campaign.”
“I was not told her name prior to the meeting. I asked Jared [Kushner] and Paul [Manafort] to attend, but told them nothing of the substance. We had a meeting in June 2016. After pleasantries were exchanged, the woman stated that she had information that individuals connected to Russia were funding the Democratic National Committee and supporting Ms. Clinton,” Donald Jr. said. “Her statements were vague, ambiguous and made no sense. No details or supporting information was provided or even offered. It quickly became clear that she had no meaningful information. She then changed subjects and began discussing the adoption of Russian children and mentioned the Magnitsky Act.”
Speaking on Monday, Conway said that there was no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, despite what she termed people trying to “convert wishful thinking into hard evidence.” But after attacking Clinton for being a “gusher at all times of negative, damaging information,” Conway was asked again why the administration allowed its denials of Russian contact, like hers in December, to stand for so many months.
“People involved in the meeting could answer those questions better for you,” Conway said. “But as I understand it, George, people’s disclosure statements have been amended to reflect meetings such as this. And Don Jr. came forth this weekend and gave more information about the meeting. He also made very clear that no information that was meaningful and helpful was gained from this.”
Watch the contentious interview above.