Sunday on CNN’s “Reliable Sources,” White House counselor Kellyanne Conway had a heated interview with host Brian Stelter, which included a round of ridicule from Conway aimed at Stelter and the media.
Partial transcript as follows:
STELTER: Because that’s something else the president tweeted. He tweeted that people that are leaking in the White House are traitors and cowards —
CONWAY: And cowards.
STELTER: Now, putting aside the shocking language, using a term that has legal consequence traitors. Can you tell me staffers have been fired this week for leaking?
CONWAY: I can’t reveal that, but I will tell you that the president thinks a lot of stuff is made up and embellished. He knows that many of us get a text or an e-mail or phone call.
Hey, I heard you think the moon is made of cheese. I have two sources. And someone will say, I don’t have a problem with the moon and don’t think it’s made of cheese. And somebody else will say we have three source who is think you don’t like the moon and it may be made of cheese.
He understands people make up things and he also knows that the leaks that you’re talking about from ten days ago were meant to hurt the people who were involved. So, people like to settle personal scores by talking to the press, et cetera. But he also knows that those of us who have top secret security clearance, those of us who are privy to information that never gets leaked, never gets even discussed frankly, he understands the way the game is played.
And I’ll tell you one thing, people —
STELTER: But leaking is a symptom. It’s a symptom of a problem, a deeper problem at the White House, right? Companies don’t leak.
CONWAY: If there were leak, you could change your chyrons. It could say, breaking news, which would actually be true for once. It would be breaking and it would be news as opposed to —
STELTER: Why the constant attacks?
CONWAY: Hold on, hold on. And you would have the fruits of the leak. How could you don’t have any fruits of leaks today? How come you’re not showing me the confidential memo someone gave you over the transom? How come you’re not talking about a leak —
STELTER: Are you really arguing that there’s not that many leaks out of the White House?
CONWAY: Yes, I would argue that. And I would tell you that — I would tell you that they don’t come from the president’s comms shop of which I’m particularly not a member. But I tell you, there are hundreds and hundreds of people who work on that complex who —
CONWWAY: — folks don’t know but they have access to a lot of information. The president knows that. He’s the president of United States. He’s done things that nobody would have imagined in the first 16 months of a presidency. But people do appreciate it. If you want a —
STELTER: Including tearing down our American media and other institutions in ways that are going to —
CONWAY: Oh, don’t make this about your again. Oh, poor media. Oh, poor you guys institution.
STELTER: I’m not saying poor media.
CONWAY: You had a low approval ratings before he became president.