On the evening of Jan. 7, a full day after an army of Trump fanatics—at the president’s urging—stormed the U.S. Capitol on a mission to overthrow the government, menacing congresspeople and killing a police officer in the process, Kellyanne Conway issued a rambling statement on Twitter.
In it, one of Trump’s most loyal and semi-trusted advisers condemned the events as “outrageous and inexcusable,” followed by the comical lie that her former boss had “denounced the violence, acknowledged the certified election results and committed to a ‘peaceful transfer of power’ to the Biden-Harris Administration.”
The wildly false claim was met with a near-universal raised eyebrow, including by Kellyanne’s own teenage daughter, who said to her mother (via TikTok), “How do you feel about your army becoming rioters?”
Well, Kellyanne—who once invented a terrorist attack in the “Bowling Green Massacre”—visited Real Time with Bill Maher on Friday night for its 19th season premiere. Kellyanne and Maher have a history of chumminess dating back to his ABC show Politically Incorrect, and, perhaps because she can no longer be of any use, the comedian lobbed a few tough questions in the direction of the professional obfuscator and lie-teller (in between smiles and yuk-yuks, of course, as is his wont).
After joking about her inauguration attire, Kellyanne confessed that she’d tried to send a message to Trump on Jan. 6, as his followers (again, at his incitement) were storming the U.S. Capitol while he did absolutely nothing.
“I wish the president had spoken with the people earlier to get them the hell out of there,” offered Conway, adding, “I did get through to him. I’d said to the person standing next to them, ‘Please add my name to the chorus of people just saying, you have to tell them to get out. I don’t know what they’re doing, why they’re there, but tell them to get out.”
Then Maher countered: “You must admit that the reason why they were there is cause he never conceded the election.”
“Well, I did a long time ago,” replied Conway, rather hollowly. “I think the real disappointment for people like me is that the last two months, let’s just say from November 6 to January 6, weren’t spent mostly talking about the accomplishments, reviewing the accomplishments. He built the greatest economy we had.”
“He built it? It was pretty much built,” fired back Maher, neglecting to mention that as Trump leaves office, there are 10.7 million people out of work—a number that remained unchanged from December to January, as Trump has seemingly spent all his time watching cable news, complaining about the election, and yes, encouraging a violent attack on the U.S. Capitol and Congress, including his Vice President Mike Pence.
Kellyanne offered more unconvincing defenses of Trump’s presidency, including that he “rebuilt the military” (it was never in dire straits) and moved the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, an empty gesture if there ever was one.
Then, she delivered the kicker: “I mean, you can’t deny that many people are better off.”
“Well, they’re not better off now!” Maher exclaimed. “A lot of them are dead.”
Yes, even though Kellyanne wishes the last two months of Trump’s election were spent admiring his (meager) list of so-called accomplishments, the time would have been far better spent trying to curb a deadly pandemic that Trump and his minions helped run wild due to their inaction—one that has claimed close to 400,000 lives and driven millions more into poverty. Shameful, really.
And Maher, rather than complimenting her attire or wishing her a “happy birthday” toward the end of their chat, could have done a better job of holding her feet to the fire.
Hopefully, for America’s sake, this is the very last time we see these two yak it up on TV (or see Kellyanne on TV at all).