Trump’s media pugilist Kellyanne Conway steps down

Agence France-Presse . Washington | Published: 10:36, Aug 24,2020 | Updated: 10:37, Aug 24,2020

 
 

In this file photo taken on August 12, 2020, counsellor to the president Kellyanne Conway speaks during the ‘Getting America’s Children Safely Back to School’ event in the State Room of the White House in Washington, DC. — AFP photo

Kellyanne Conway, a long-serving advisor to president Donald Trump known for sparring with reporters, announced Sunday she will step down to focus on her family.

Conway, 53, had been at Trump’s side since day one, managing his 2016 campaign that catapulted the reality TV star into the world’s most powerful office.

But the past four years of singular loyalty to Trump, including defending him on TV and with informal ‘gaggles’ with the press, had taken a toll.

Her husband, prominent Washington lawyer George Conway, was one of Twitter’s most prolific Trump critics, repeatedly and loudly questioning the president’s mental fitness for office.

Also, Conway’s 15-year-old daughter Claudia wrote on Twitter on Saturday that she was ‘devastated’ that her mother would speak at the Republican convention, and pledged to seek legal emancipation ‘due to years of childhood trauma and abuse’.

Less than 24 hours later, Kellyanne Conway tweeted a statement that closes by saying: ‘For now, and for my beloved children, it will be less drama, more mama’.

Conway said that she would step down by the end of the month and that her husband George would also be making some changes.

‘We disagree about plenty but we are united on what matters most: the kids,’ she wrote.

Conway had become both famous and notorious for sparring with the media, often by finding a way to change the topic, turn the question back on the reporter, or merely complain.

All of which did with a flamboyant fashion sense — snake-skin pattern dress one day, a bright red one the next — standing out in an often-grey city.

Her work led her at one point to be depicted on the long-running US comedy show Saturday Night Live as ‘Kellywise’, a spoof of the murderous, sewer-dwelling clown from horror novel and film ‘It’.

Conway also stuck out her White House role while a parade of other aides were forced out, quit or left in humiliation.

Conway, a lawyer and pollster by training, said that her departure was her call.

‘This is completely my choice and my voice. In time, I will announce future plans,’ she added.

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