Kellyanne Conway: I'm A Victim Of Sexual Assault


CNN: Counselor to President Trump, Kellyanne Conway, tells CNN's Jake Tapper that she is a victim of sexual assault while discussing the testimonies of Christine Blasey Ford and Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

Conway warned Tapper not to conflate Trump with her sexual assault.

"I'm really sorry that you went through that, but what you work for a president who says that all the women who have accused him are lying," Tapper asked after Conway revealed her past.

"Don't conflate that with this, and certainly don't conflate it with what happened to me. It would be a huge mistake, Jake," she warned.

Transcript, via CNN:

TAPPER: Do you have any concerns that Judge Kavanaugh, in asserting that even though he has been a heavy drinker in high school and college at times, his assertion that he has never, ever had any memory loss the next day, do you have any concerns that that's not true?


CONWAY: Jake, I didn't go to college with him. I have never been out drinking with him.

This is what he has said under oath. And that has got to matter more than you're allowing here.


TAPPER: But she -- but she -- but that woman...

CONWAY: That would not be admissible.

TAPPER: ... is a Republican. And she says that she doesn't believe him.

CONWAY: OK. She doesn't believe in.

And many people do, including the 100 women who still stand with him, many of whom didn't vote for President Trump, who nominated Brett Kavanaugh, a number of them who, frankly, are Democrats and will tell you that, who have been out there writing op-eds, giving sworn testimony.

Why doesn't that matter to anybody? Not a single parent whose young daughters Judge Kavanaugh has coached in basketball has come forward and said, you know what, I now have second thoughts.

So we can cherry-pick people's comments all day long. While I was waiting to come on an interview with you this morning, I was looking over the shoulder of one of your researchers, who had a very rough tweet up about somebody basically trying to recount for Dr. Ford things that they had done together.

Do you remember this, Christine, threatening her on Twitter. So you're always going to find somebody to try to impugn the integrity of either Kavanaugh or Ford.

That is not what this is about. This is about whether or not this man and his impeccable judicial temperament and qualifications in 12 years on the second highest court in this country is qualified to be on the United States Supreme Court.

What you saw the other day, even though a lot of it was a national disgrace, what you saw the other today is a Senate Judiciary confirmation hearing. It is not a criminal or civil proceeding.

And let me just say also it's not a meeting of the MeToo movement. I feel very empathetic, frankly, for victims of sexual assault and sexual harassment and rape. That -- I'm a victim of sexual assault.

I don't expect Judge Kavanaugh or Jake Tapper or Jeff Flake or anybody to be held responsible for that. You have to be responsible for your own conduct.

I -- this is not Bill Cosby. Those -- those comparisons on your network are a disgrace, and the anchor should have called them out. This is not even Bill Clinton.

You have -- you have Senate Judiciary Committee members who refused to remove Bill Clinton from office after he received oral sex in the Oval Office and lied about it to a grand jury as president of the United States.

The hypocrisy is ridiculous. And if not one Senate Judiciary Committee member changes his or her vote because of what they learn from the FBI investigation, that tells you all you need to know about what the president and Judge Kavanaugh has said is a sham.

Let's just be honest what this is about.

TAPPER: Well, so...

CONWAY: This is all partisan politics. All women can't -- you know, I want those women who -- who were sexually assaulted the other day who were confronting Jeff Flake, God bless them.

But go blame the perpetuator.

TAPPER: But can I ask you a question. First of all...

CONWAY: That is who is responsible for a sexual assault, the people who commit them.

TAPPER: The first time -- this is the first time I have ever heard you talk about something personal like that. And I'm really sorry.


CONWAY: Well, I have just had it. I have just had it with it all being the same.

TAPPER: But I'm really sorry that you went through that, but what -- what -- you work for a president who says that all the women who have accused him are lying.

There have been a number of people...

CONWAY: And don't conflate that with this, and certainly don't conflate it with what happened to me. It would be a huge mistake, Jake.


TAPPER: I don't know what -- I'm not conflating it, but that...

CONWAY: Let's not do it. Well, let's not do it. Let's not always bring Trump into everything that happens in this universe. That's mistake number one.

TAPPER: Do you -- President Trump said his personal experiences have informed his view of us. That's the only reason I'm bringing that up. He was asked about that. And he said, yes, it informed how I look at it, because I have been accused -- I have had so many false allegations against me. That's what he said.

So my question is, as a survivor of this -- and, again, I'm deeply, personally very sorry about whatever pain you have gone through.

CONWAY: Thank you.

TAPPER: But does that not make you think, when you -- when you hear somebody like Professor Ford or -- or other people make allegations, does that not make you think these women need to be heard, and even if there are not corroborating witnesses, that is not -- absence of evidence is not evidence of absence?

CONWAY: Jake, they should all be heard, and they should be heard in courts of law.

They should be heard in depositions. They should be heard in proceedings. Those who -- who can prosecute, those who have civil and/or criminal causes of action should pursue that.

But we do treat people differently who are either the victims or the perpetrators of this based on their politics now and based on their gender. That is a huge mistake.

America, it's a huge mistake. Don't make the mistake. You want to have the same kind of conversation with your daughter that you have with your son. And I don't mean to get so personal (INAUDIBLE).

But I want to everybody asking me, what do you think of your daughters, how do you talk to your daughters, how do I talk to my almost 14-year-old son?


This is Judge Kavanaugh now.

TAPPER: But how do you -- how do you talk...


CONWAY: Excuse me, but this is Judge Kavanaugh now.

It could be anybody by next week. Respectfully, it could be any man in any position now. What would be the defense? It was 36 years ago. It -- what would be the defense? There was nobody else to corroborate it. Not good enough. I didn't do it under oath. I was 17.


TAPPER: But is that the conversation you're having with your son?

Because the conversation I'm having with my son...

CONWAY: No, that's not the conversation I'm having with my son.

But we -- if we're going to have a national conversation, let's stop judging the victims and the perpetrators according to their -- to their politics, according...


TAPPER: But who is doing that?

Al Franken lost his job. Harvey Weinstein lost his job. All these members of the media lost their jobs.

CONWAY: Oh, my God. Let's not -- and let's not compare Harvey Weinstein or Bill Cosby and a few others to what has happened here.

TAPPER: I'm just saying -- you're saying that people -- you're saying that society or the media or someone is looking at these things through a political lens.

And I'm pointing to...

CONWAY: I think this week was that way. This week was that way. And it shouldn't be that way.

TAPPER: But it hasn't been that way in the last year.

I don't disagree with you about what you're saying about Clinton and his behavior in -- back...

CONWAY: It just shouldn't be a footnote. And what about those women?


TAPPER: It's not a footnote. There was a huge investigation. Brett Kavanaugh worked on that investigation.

CONWAY: But those women...

TAPPER: And he was very strongly of the opinion that Bill Clinton needed to answer for what he did.

CONWAY: Do you know what a liberal Democratic women told me this week who supports Brett Kavanaugh because she's worked with him for a long time?

She said, Kellyanne, I'm so -- obviously, everybody's so either emotionally drained or disgusted, depending on the range of emotions.

TAPPER: Or both.

CONWAY: Or both.

However -- and I feel badly -- I'm going to say it again. I feel badly for both Ford and Kavanaugh. We said it from the beginning. I know the president feels that way.

Everybody has been dragged -- but I think the Democrats could have avoided all of this just by coming forward earlier and asking Dr. Ford and/or Judge Kavanaugh in those private phone calls, sensitive hearings.


CONWAY: So this woman got a say because of the Republican Party. And Judge Kavanaugh is right. They can vote him down, up or down, ultimately, Jake. He could sit on the United States Supreme Court or not, but they're not going to force him to quit.

Let me just say this to you, that my liberal Democratic friend said something I totally agree with and I hadn't thought about quite the way she did, which is, she feels so badly for the way she rolled her eyes and treated people like Paula Jones and Juanita Broaddrick.

And these people had true claims, and they were dismissed, again, on the altar of a presidential debate.

TAPPER: I completely -- I completely agree with you.

But we are not now where we were then.

CONWAY: Two years ago.

TAPPER: Where we were then.

And I interviewed Juanita Broaddrick two years ago. So, I mean, we are not -- we are not as a society and we are not as the media where we are.

Let me just ask you, as a final question, you have said that you found her credible, Professor Blasey Ford. CONWAY: I said I found her compelling. And I'm glad she had -- had

her voice, yes. And I think they could both be right. I think something terrible could have happened to her...

TAPPER: Something happened.

CONWAY: ... the same summer she and I were 15, and that Judge Kavanaugh was not involved.

And I think that is why you have sworn testimony. That is why you have corroborating evidence, if you can find it. And that's why I suppose the FBI will continue to investigate.

I -- I'm a big fan of transparency and accountability, so I'm happy, although I think it was torturous for both Ford and Kavanaugh, and people should stop using both of them for their own political gains, may I say, but I'm happy that, if they were willing to do, that they came forward and testified under oath.

But it's got to matter. The whole thing has to matter. It has to matter who they have been throughout their lives, who he's been, that he's gone through six FBI vets.

We can't just -- and people are afraid, Jake. People are afraid that they will never be able to defend themselves against 36-year-old allegations from when -- from before they were adults.


TAPPER: That's true. But there are also -- as you know, and as I certainly don't need to tell you, there are also people who are afraid that they're going to be sexually assaulted.

CONWAY: Yes, and let's -- people on Twitter and elsewhere right now saying, oh, well, she's -- how could she work for Donald Trump?

I work for President Trump because he's so good to the women who work for him, and he's so good to the women of this country who are much better off...


CONWAY: ... with security and prosperity because of his leadership.

So, I don't want to hear it. I don't want to hear it from any of them.

TAPPER: Preemptive -- preemptive message for the tweeters out there.

CONWAY: Thank you.

TAPPER: Kellyanne Conway, thank you so much for your time.

CONWAY: Thank you.

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