President Trump courted controversy on Thursday morning with tweets attacking MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski, re-igniting the conversation about Trump's treatment of women. Responding to the backlash on ABC's Good Morning America on Friday, top White House adviser Kellyanne Conway accused the media of "toxicity" toward Trump, claiming that they choose to cover "personal insults" against Trump over his policies.
Speaking to George Stephanopoulos, Conway said:
The media are covering ― large parts of the media, anyway ― are covering personal insults about the president, this invective, and really denying America's women their rightful knowledge on what he's doing for them on tax reform, on health care, on infrastructure. ... This is someone who's trying to get those millions of women who lack health care covered, this is a man who's trying to get tax relief and entrepreneurship freed up in this country for those American women who want it.
Both journalists and a bipartisan group of lawmakers have strongly rebuked the president's tweets dismissing Brzezinski's "low I.Q." and for claiming that she was "bleeding badly from a face-lift." Trump's critics have pointed to his tweets as more evidence of his misogyny, though the White House has pushed back against this claim, insisting that Trump was defending himself against "liberal" bullies.
Conway's Friday claims about Trump's efforts boosting women in regards to health care, however, appear counter to the Congressional Budget Office's score on Senate Republicans' health care bill. The CBO projected that at least 22 million more Americans would lose insurance by 2026 than if Obamacare were to simply stay in effect.
Furthermore, the bill seeks to strip federal funds from Planned Parenthood, the biggest and most crucial provider of reproductive health care for American women, especially lower-income women who otherwise might not have access. Many people have said the bill would be harmful to American women, whether specifically on the matter of reproductive rights, or on expanding coverage more generally.
The Senate bill also guts Medicaid, which would have a dire impact on the health care of millions low-income Americans, women included.
Conway's argument to focus on tax reform also falls short; no tax reform legislation has been released yet, in part because the House and Senate have been so preoccupied with the push to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
Throughout the campaign and the early months of the Trump administration, Conway has time and again proven to be Trump's most unapologetic defender in the media, often accusing the media of being biased and unfair toward the president.
Pushing back against Stephanopoulos' assertion that they "wouldn't be talking about this this morning if the president hadn't sent out those tweets," Conway struck the same tone. She reiterated that the media harbored "toxicity about this president," and claimed that Trump's championed women's issues — even though women, advocates, and progressives would firmly disagree.