Trump aide Kellyanne Conway says she too is a victim of sexual assault
Conway did not elaborate on her experience, though she’s previously alluded to her own #MeToo moment
Kellyanne Conway, a senior adviser to US President Donald Trump and one of the most public faces of his administration, has revealed that she has been a victim of sexual assault.
Conway appeared on CNN’s State of the Union to discuss allegations against supreme court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Three women have accused the federal circuit judge of sexual misconduct.
A politically contentious FBI investigation will take place this week.
“I feel very empathetic,” Conway said.
“Frankly, for victims of sexual assault and sexual harassment and rape.”
She then cleared her throat.
“I’m a victim of sexual assault,” she said.
“I don’t expect Judge Kavanaugh or Jake Tapper or Jeff Flake or anybody to be held responsible for that. You have to be accountable for your own conduct.”
Conway appeared to be saying attackers had to be held accountable, not all men.
On CNN and elsewhere on Sunday, she defended Dr Christine Blasey Ford , whose Senate testimony about Kavanaugh held the nation’s attention on Thursday. Ford could have been assaulted by someone else, Conway said.
Ford alleges that Kavanaugh attempted to rape her at a house party in 1982. Deborah Ramirez claims he exposed his genitals to her while they were both at Yale.
Julie Swetnick says Kavanaugh and a friend were present at parties where drunken girls were gang raped.
Kavanaugh vehemently denies all the accusations.
The FBI investigation was ordered by Trump at the request of Flake, an Arizona Republican who was confronted on Friday by two protesters who said they had been sexually assaulted.
Conway said she had “just had it” with what, echoing Kavanaugh, she said were politically motivated accusations.
The Kavanaugh-Ford hearing should not be seen as “a meeting of the #MeToo movement”, she said.
Responding to Conway’s remark about her own sexual assault, CNN host Tapper said: “This is the first time I’ve ever heard you talk about something personal like that, and I’m really sorry.”
But Tapper also said Conway worked for a man, Trump, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women.
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“Don’t conflate that with this,” Conway said.
“And certainly don’t conflate that with what happened to me. Let’s not always bring Trump into everything that happens in this universe. That’s mistake No1.”
She added: “I work for Trump because he’s so good to the women who work for him and he’s so good to the women of this country.”
As discussion of her comments roiled social media, Conway did not immediately comment further. She has however mentioned the subject before.
In October 2016, after the release of the Access Hollywood tape in which Trump was recorded boasting about groping women, she told MSNBC about “some of the members of Congress out there, when I was younger and prettier. Them rubbing up against girls, sticking their tongues down women’s throats, uninvited, who didn’t like it”.
In December 2017, appearing at a Politico event , she said: “Yes, of course I’ve had a #MeToo moment, but nobody cared about that.”
Agence France-Presse, The Guardian