Panelists on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” identified an unlikely suspect as the possible author of an anonymous New York Times op-ed this morning. They say they think they know who wrote the editorial exposing chaos and crisis in the Trump White House: Kellyanne Conway.
“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 the whole time.’
“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 the whole time.'” https://t.co/35EBksmPfd
— Raw Story (@RawStory) September 7, 2018
MSNBC analyst John Heilemann said he got his clues about the op-ed authorship from a column in Esquire by Charles Pierce, who said his wife had noticed some details in the op-ed that made him think a woman wrote it.
“Credit where credit is due,” Heilemann said. “Charlie Pierce on Esquire.com yesterday, he suggested his wife, who is probably very perspicacious, she detected a feminine tone in the op-ed, and she suggested it was Kellyanne Conway, and I had not even contemplated that.”
Heilemann, like several other respected commentators, had said that he had suspected Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, of being the author. However, when he read the Esquire article, he said that Pierce’s theory won him over.
“The more you think about it, the more Kellyanne Conway 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 it in to try to pin it on Mike Pence.”
“If you think about the double act doing with her husband, trying to set herself up to the be Carville and Matalin of the future, this is a good hedge against Trump failing,” he added. “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 the whole time.’”
“Morning Joe” co-host Joe Scarborough said that while she was serving as Trump’s campaign manager he had noticed Conway distancing herself from the candidate.
“At the end of the campaign she would, in the green room, around the set, talk about how she couldn’t wait for the campaign to be over, this was like her summer abroad,” Scarborough said.
“Morning Joe” contributor Donny Deutsch also recalled an incident in Florida, when Conway described Trump’s campaign using language very close to the language used in the op-ed.
“In Daytona Beach, I was doing the show with you that day, we were on the break,” Deutsch said. “I asked her, ‘What are you doing?’ She said, ‘It’s like vacation at Daytona Beach, it’s like being on the beach with all the kids, that’s how crazy this is.’”
Deutsch said he agrees that there are many clues that Conway authored the controversial editorial.
“Who is cunning and clever enough to use the word, a Pence word, to throw people and who in the post-Trump administration has most to lose?” Deutsch said. “They’ll all go back to their political worlds, think tanks. If you are somebody who wants to be on television, in the communications world, whatnot, you really have to re-invent yourself. Mike Pompeo does not have to re-invent himself.”
Scarborough said outgoing staffers left the White House with a Trump taint, and Conway may be trying to protect herself from that.
“Look at others that have left the White House, except for one or two, they ain’t working in Washington anymore,” Scarborough said. “They’ve destroyed their reputations. They might as well go back home, because no administration will ever hire them again.”
Heilemann said that Conway’s denial of her involvement with the op-ed may have given another clue that she was involved because of the way it was worded. Others who issued denials gave lengthy statements on the topic but all Conway said was “Of course not” when asked if she wrote the op-ed.
It’s true that Conway is very cagey and smart and knows how to manipulate language to serve her own ends, and those of her master, Donald Trump. She is a survivor, and she may see that the end is near and it’s time to abandon the sinking ship of the Trump presidency.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.