Kellyanne Conway on Trump’s Response to Gun Violence

Kellyanne Conway joins Christiane Amanpour to discuss President Trump’s response to mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, and whether or not he encourages extremism with language against migrants such as “invasion” and “infestation.”

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CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: Kellyanne, you’re his senior counselor. You are really close to him. Do you countenance those words that the president uses? Do you try to tell him not to use those words like “invasion,” like “infestation,” like all the words he uses which are associated with hate speech?

KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: Christiane, I — not so long ago you had the former FBI director, Jim Comey, on your show. And controversially you asked him does he regret not having regulated, I guess, or prosecuted as hate speech, quote, “lock her up.” So, what we saw this week — and I think even he pushed back on that. What we saw this week is real hate and real evil and real bigotry and real White supremacist and real murder. And that monster ought to be brought to justice through the death penalty, in my view. And I’m glad that those in Texas who are in charge of such things have called this domestic terrorism and indeed, can pursue the death penalty. I’d like to know if the 2020 crowd who was preening and screaming all over your network and elsewhere is going to look America in the eye and somehow tell us that the death penalty should not be considered for this monster. Most of what I tell the president is private but I will tell you this, I’m very happy that he, as the president, of all of us, as the president of this entire nation and the leader in this world, denounced in no uncertain terms unequivocally hate, racism and White supremacy. And I would also like to point something out. The day before Bob Mueller testified on July 24th, the day before FBI Director Chris Wray testified up in Congress, they got very little coverage, including on your network, because everybody was guessing what Bob Mueller would or would not do. Silly. What actually happened is Chris Wray’s testimony or FBI director, he said that the most domestic terrorism arrests this year involve White supremacy that Donald Trump’s — this president’s FBI has been very, very accelerated and intensified in its investigations and arrests of hate crimes, domestic terrorism, including, not exclusively, but including White supremacy. There are other forms, as you know.


CONWAY: And so, this is an administration that has been very active all along. It got very little coverage, if any, because Bob Mueller was going to testify the next day. But the director of the FBI told us two short weeks ago about this and all the efforts. I was briefed by them yesterday. There is a ton going on already.

AMANPOUR: All right. Well, let me ask you this then. I understand. I’m honestly trying to have —

CONWAY: But you think (INAUDIBLE) death penalty, you’re — well, but you’re —

AMANPOUR: I’m trying to have — no. I’m trying to have a grown-up conversation with you and the death penalty is the issue down —

CONWAY: And I’m having one with you.

AMANPOUR: — the road, which the president already associated himself with. We’ve already had the attorney general, the Justice Department talking about reinstating the federal death penalty. That’s done. Let’s move on.

About This Episode EXPAND

Kellyanne Conway joins Christiane Amanpour to comment on the mass shootings that happened over the weekend in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. Daniel Benjamin and Rev. William Barber join the program to weigh in on the attacks. Danah Boyd sits down with Hari Sreenivasan to explain how digital media amplifies the spread of false information.