Former Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway recently declared on CNN that Donald Trump’s election win meant that his behavior on Twitter was automatically “presidential.” During a forum at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics last week, a student questioned Trump’s use of Twitter as a communications strategy. In recent tweets, Trump made false claims about election fraud, attacked reporters and complained about his portrayal on Saturday Night Live. CNN host Jake Tapper questioned whether Trump’s use of Twitter was “presidential behavior.” “Well, he’s the president-elect,” Conway shrugged. “So, that’s presidential behavior, yes.”
At that point, the audience laughed, which seemed to prompt Conway to continue in the same tone. “I really don’t know what you’re all laughing at, but the fact to the matter is, if you’ve got a person who’s won the election for the President of the United States, and is making decisions and doing things in between winning the election and actually assuming office, then that’s presidential behavior, I really don’t know how else to call it,” she argued. “But if anyone here has a better term for it, I’d be happy to hear you out, that’s not a problem for me at all.”
Tapper then proceeded to remind Conway about the insulting comments Donald Trump made about grabbing women “by the pu**y,” and asked her if she would also characterize that as a form of presidential behavior. The sharp-tongued campaign manager replied, “I’m not the one making the laws, but if the president-elect is doing it, then it’s got to be presidential, right? I mean, there’s not a lot of gray areas surrounding what a president of a country can and can’t do, and what they’re allowed and not allowed to do. Such things are strictly and precisely regulated, especially in the case of the President of the United States. And in the case of Donald Trump, I believe everything is clear.”
Asked to elaborate, Conway said that “the fact that Donald Trump won the election fair and square makes pu**y groping a presidential action, whether we like it or not.” Yet, when Tapper follower her own logic and asked her whether what Bill Clinton had done could also be qualified as “presidential behavior,” she replied that “there’s a huge difference between Bill Clinton and Donald Trump.” “Now, I don’t know about every single woman out there, but personally, I think Trump is way hotter than Bill Clinton. And if I had to choose, I would much rather be groped by Donald than have to cheat on Hillary Clinton with her husband. I don’t find him all that attractive,” she said.
“Bottom line,” she continued, “we just have to deal with the fact that there’s a great chance Donald Trump is going to make pu**y groping a regular thing from now on. I mean, you can’t deny the fact that there are tons of men in this country who are doing that to women on a regular basis, so why not make things easier? President-elect Trump has always been a man who leads by example, and it would be strange to for him to change now that everybody’s finally gotten used to that,” Conway concluded.