They don't have much in common, but Chelsea Clinton and Kellyanne Conway tweeted supportive messages to each other on Friday following a controversial joke — widely interpreted as having sexual connotations — made by Rep. Cedric Richmond about Conway. Richmond made the joke in question on Wednesday night the annual awards dinner hosted by the Washington Press Club Foundation.
"Despicable," Clinton tweeted in response to an article about the situation. "I hope @KellyannePolls receives the apology she deserves-certainly never thought I'd write that & I mean every word."
Conway then replied, "Thank you,
@ChelseaClinton. As strong women, as moms to Charlottes...appreciate you speaking out on this
Prior to Richmond's comments at the Wednesday night dinner, Sen. Tim Scott made a joke during his monologue referencing the viral photo of Conway kneeling on a couch in the Oval Office while 64 leaders of historically black colleges and universities stood around President Trump's desk. "Has anyone seen the controversy around Kellyanne Conway and a couch in the Oval Office?" he said. "Come on people, you remember the '90s. That couch has had a whole lot worse things. Come on now." His mention of the '90s referred to Bill Clinton's scandal with Monica Lewinsky.
Richmond then followed Scott's lead when time came for his monologue. "Tim, you kind of opened the door,” he joked. “I really just want to know what was going on there, because, you know, I won’t tell anybody. And you can just explain to me that circumstance — because she really looked kind of familiar in that position there. Don’t answer — and I don’t want you to refer back to the 1990s.”
Richmond later insisted that his comments were not meant to have sexual overtones. “Where I grew up saying that someone is looking or acting ‘familiar’ simply means that they are behaving too comfortably," he said in a statement. Indeed, Conway's posture in the photo was seen as a blatant display of privilege by many, as her assertion of the right to behave in whatever way she pleases despite being in the presence of respected leaders of the black community. However, Richmond's reference to the '90s, although it asks others not to talk about those years, inevitably connects his comments with former sex scandals.
After her supportive message to Conway, Clinton responded to a couple of (now deleted) tweets expressing surprise. "Two wrongs (ummm...many wrongs) don't make a right," she wrote in one comment.
Conway recently took aim at Clinton after Clinton tweeted a joke about the nonexistent Bowling Green Massacre. "@ChelseaClinton & others, you can't 'invent' quality candidates either," she wrote. "I misspoke; you lost the election."
Though it's unlikely that the two will change their opinions of one another following this interaction, the moment is proof that it's possible for opponents to come together, even if just briefly.