George Conway, the husband of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, has made a name for himself by criticizing his wife’s boss in tweets and op-eds.
He is now taking his disdain for President Donald Trump to another level, speaking out about him in a new podcast. Conway says the Republican party under Trump has become a “personality cult.” He says he would rather “move to Australia” than vote for Trump again. He declines to comment when asked if the president is fully stable.
And for the first time, Conway explains why he declined to take a senior position in the Justice Department last year.
“I realized, this guy is going to be at war with the Justice Department,” Conway said of Trump during an interview with the Yahoo News podcast “Skullduggery.”
Early in the Trump presidency, Conway, a New York lawyer, was offered a top job as chief of the Justice Department’s civil division, a post that would have put him in charge of defending the administration in lawsuits.
Conway withdrew from consideration in June, saying that “this is not the right time to leave the private sector.”
In the podcast, he offered a fuller explanation, describing what he was seeing as “a dumpster fire.”
Conway said his doubts about serving solidified as Trump fired James B. Comey as FBI director and acknowledged in a television interview that he was thinking about the Russia investigation as he made his decision.
“And then I’m driving home one day from New York and it’s like ‘Robert Mueller appointed special counsel,’ and then I realized, this guy is going to be at war with the Justice Department,” Conway said.
Until recently, Trump had remained publicly silent about Conway’s criticism. That changed last week after Conway co-authored an op-ed arguing that Trump’s installation of Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general was unconstitutional.
Speaking to reporters about that, Trump referred to Conway as “Mr. Kellyanne Conway” and said: “He’s just trying to get publicity for himself.”
In the Yahoo podcast, Conway also addressed his role in forming Checks and Balances, a group of conservative lawyers concerned about what they say is a violation of constitutional norms by Trump.
Conway cited a September tweet in which Trump was critical of then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions for bringing indictments on corruption charges against two “very popular” Republican congressmen just before the midterms.
“I was appalled,” he said. “It was appalling. We’re talking about someone who has sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution and laws of the United States, and to criticize the attorney general for permitting justice to be done without regard to political party is very disturbing.”
(c) 2018, The Washington Post · John Wagner