Several Morning Joe Hosts on Friday asserted they believed White House counsel Kellyanne Conway to be the author of the scathing New York Times op-ed that claimed members of President Donald Trump’s administration were actively preventing Trump from drastic or potentially damaging actions.
The unknown op-ed author accused the president of being amoral while claiming to be part of a “resistance” against Trump.
Morning Joe contributor John Heilemann noted a piece by Esquire that suggested the op-ed had a more feminine tone, and Heilemann pointed to Conway’s politically savvy nature to perhaps point the finger at Vice President Mike Pence.
Pence was floated as a possible author since he had used the word “lodestar” in speeches before, unlike anyone else in the administration. But the vice president has denied authoring the op-ed.
“The more you think about it, the more the Kellyanne Conway thing makes some sense,” Heilemann said. “She’s very cagey, she’s the kind of person who would find out that Mike Pence used the word ‘lodestar’ a lot and put lodestar in to try to pin it on Mike Pence.”
He also pointed to Conway’s controversy with her husband George, who previously supported Trump but has since accused the president of corruption and other charges while damning Trump on Twitter.
“She also, if you think about the double act she’s doing with her husband right now trying to set herself up to be the [James] Carville and [Mary] Matalin of the future,” Heilemann said. “This is a good hedge against Trump failing, cause she would be the kind of person who would want to come out after Trump failed and say ‘You know what I was working on the inside for the resistance all along.’”
Co-host Joe Scarborough, who often had Conway on the program during the 2016 campaign, agreed and suggested her behavior off-camera indicated she did not enjoy working Trump.
“At the end of the campaign she would, in the green room, and around the set, talk about how she couldn’t wait for the campaign to be over,” Scarborough said. “This was like her summer abroad.”
Conway, along with every member of the president’s cabinet and other top administration officials, has denied penning the op-ed.
But Conway has been accused by enemies of leaking information to the press in order to thwart others in the White House, as have advisers Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner and former chief political strategist Steve Bannon.
The op-ed writer had stated there were “whispers” around the cabinet about perhaps invoking the 25th Amendment due to Trump’s behavior. The amendment calls for most of the cabinet and the vice president to agree the active president is not mentally capable of serving.