President Donald Trump has made it abundantly clear that he is not done talking about his former opponent, Hillary Clinton. Since the day he became president, Trump has tweeted about Clinton – or “Crooked Hillary” – about 70 times.
But according to Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president, the White House does not talk about Clinton.
“We don’t care about her. Nobody here talks about her,” Conway told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Wednesday night. “Nobody here talks about Hillary Clinton, I promise you.”
Conway’s remarks came during a 30-minute sparring match with Cuomo, who considers her a personal friend, and whom she continually referred to as “Christopher.”
Earlier that day, Trump had, in fact, brought up Clinton multiple times. Speaking in a joint White House news conference with Norwegian Minister Erna Solberg, Trump mentioned his former opponent while discussing why he thinks “it is much better to work with Russia.”
“I am for massive oil and gas and everything else and a lot of energy,” he said. “Putin can’t love that. I am for the strongest military that the United States ever had. Putin can’t love that. Hillary was not for a strong military and Hillary – my opponent – was for windmills,” Trump said.
“And she was for other types of energy that don’t have the same capacities at this moment certainly,” he added.
The president brought Clinton up yet again while responding to questions about meeting with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. Trump criticized the FBI’s handling of its 2016 interview with Hillary Clinton, who was then a presidential candidate under investigation for her use of a private email server when she was secretary of state.
“When you talk about interviews, Hillary Clinton had an interview where she wasn’t sworn in, she wasn’t given the oath, they didn’t take notes, they didn’t record and it was done on the Fourth of July weekend,” Trump said. “That’s, perhaps, ridiculous, and a lot of people looked upon that as being a very serious breach.”
Speaking to Cuomo about the probe into Russian meddling in the election, Conway said Trump beat Clinton “fairly and squarely in this country, though this democratic elective process.”
“Look, so many people still can’t get over the election results,” Conway said.
Cuomo countered: “Says my friend who can’t keep Hillary Clinton’s name out of her mouth,” chuckling as the two started talking over each other.
“She lost that election and the only reason we’re still talking about it is because …” Conway said, her words trailing off.
“Russian interference matters and it doesn’t delegitimize the president’s victory,” Cuomo said. “You guys are frozen in that moment. That’s why you bring up Hillary Clinton.”
“I’ll make you a deal,” Conway said. “I’ll never talk about her again, but then you can’t talk about the 2016 election.”
During the interview, Conway also touched on Trump’s promised border wall, saying that experts have concluded a physical wall won’t extend along the entirety of the border.
“After conferring with the experts who are involved in this process, Christopher, the president has discovered that part of it, he knows, will be the physical wall, part of it is better technology, part of it is also fencing,” Conway said.
“There are rivers involved, I’m told,” she added. “There are mountains involved, there’s terrain that isn’t conducive to building an actual physical structure in some places.”
When Cuomo argued to Conway that a wall “isn’t going to stop illegal drugs coming into this country,” Conway fired back.
“I’m sorry Christopher, are you telling the viewers that no drugs come through the southern border?” she said. “Facts first. Be an apple, don’t be a banana.”
Conway appeared to be referring to CNN’s “Facts First” ad campaign.
Cuomo, who will be appearing during prime time for four weeks while still hosting his morning show, has a long history of interviewing – and sparring with Conway.
“I get that there are personality traits or whatever with Kellyanne that may spark certain criticism from people of a particular political perception,” he told the Hollywood Reporter this week. “But that’s not my problem. She’s relevant, and as long as she’s respectful to the dialogue, she’s welcome to be on the show.”