Kellyanne Conway, counselor to President Donald Trump, refused to say whether Trump is taking any specific actions to stymie future attempts by the Russian government to interfere in US elections during a sharp dialogue on Friday morning with CNN’s Alisyn Camerota.
Camerota, the host of “New Day,” began the 20-minute interview by asking Conway about the White House’s response to a bombshell new Washington Post report detailing the most conclusive public evidence so far of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s role in the election meddling.
Conway sidestepped the question, instead denying that the Russians were successful in influencing the election, and insisting that there is no evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians, an allegation at the heart of ongoing congressional and FBI investigations.
“No nexus has been proven between what Russia or any other foreign government tried to do and the actual election result,” Conway said, adding, “We know that Donald Trump won fairly and squarely 306 electoral votes — it had nothing to do with interference.”
Camerota tried again.
“But what about this new reporting?” she asked. “What is the current White House doing about this?”
Conway responded that the president has said repeatedly that he “would be concerned about anybody interfering in our democracy,” and then compared the Russian interference to criticism from Trump’s doubters in the US.
“We saw a lot of people interfering with our democracy by saying he couldn’t win here at home,” Conway said.
Camerota persisted, rephrasing the question.
“I mean against Russia — what is he doing, specifically, to try to stop this?” she asked.
Conway then appeared to become frustrated and criticised CNN’s reporting.
“Alisyn, I realise that we just like to say the word, ‘Russia, Russia’ to mislead the voters and I know that CNN is aiding and abetting this nonsense as well,” Conway said.
The CNN host didn’t give up on her line of questioning, again asking what “action” the White House is taking to prevent Russian interference.
“The president has met with his national security team many times, he has an initiative or a commission on voter integrity,” Conway said, “and he, himself, has used the power of the bully pulpit to express his resistance to any type of outside interference.”
Camerota pressed harder.
“Do you think that he’s done enough to send a signal to Russia to stop this?”
“I think the president has been very clear on how he feels about this issue and many others,” Conway said, and then launched into a list of the administration’s achievements, accusing CNN and other news outlets of intentionally ignoring other news in order to focus on the Russia-related investigations.
Following the interview, CNN tweeted a video compilation of what they described as “the 7 times Kellyanne Conway avoids questions about what Trump is doing about Russian interference in US elections.”
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