Kellyanne Conway Couldn't Name The Top Black Official In The White House — VIDEO
Omarosa Manigault-Newman was the talk of the town on weekend political shows in Washington, D.C. — whether or not she appeared. While Omarosa was on NBC's Meet The Press, over on ABC, her former colleague Kellyanne Conway couldn't name the White House's top black official right now.
Conway was on the show refuting many of the allegations in Manigault-Newman's new book Unhinged. Conway argued that in publishing the book, the former assistant to the president "has undercut her own credibility."
This Week host Jonathan Karl asked Conway the direction directly. "Omarosa was the most prominent, high-level African-American serving in the West Wing on President Trump's staff. Who now is that person?" he asked.
"African-American?" Conway countered before trying to pivot outside of the White House. "First of all you're totally not covering the fact that the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and world-renowned neurosurgeon..."
Karl cut her off and said, "I'm asking you about the White House staff; I'm asking you about the people that the president is with every day."
Conway once again tried to answer with HUD Secretary Ben Carson, but Karl didn't let her.
"Who is there on the White House staff right now?" Karl asked. Then came Conway's best answer, not even offering a last name:
We have Ja'Ron, who's done a fabulous job and... he’s been very involved with Jared Kushner and President Trump on prison reform. He’s been there from the beginning. He worked with Omarosa and others of us.
Karl then asked her where Ja'Ron's office was, if it is in the West Wing. Conway didn't answer, instead saying he had an office in the "EOP," the Executive Office of the President, which has offices that extend beyond the West Wing to other buildings in D.C. including the East Wing,
"What does that say that there's not a single senior advisor in the West Wing who's African-American?" Karl asked.
"There are plenty of people," Conway started without naming one. "If you’re going by that and not by the actions of the president, which you probably should, then you should look at the fact that we have a number of different minorities. And the fact is that this president is doing well for all Americans."
Conway then tried to spin the conversation to coverage of the African-American unemployment rate and then the return of remains of soldiers killed in the Korean War.
The staffer was later identified as Ja'Ron Smith, whose LinkedIn says he is the "Director of Urban Affairs and Revitalization at Executive Office of the President." A former White House aide then appeared on ABC to say that Smith's office is in the East Wing, a larger office complex where the president would interact less with staffers than in the West Wing.
The issue was not only topical thanks to Manigault-Newman's book release, but also because of Trump's assertions — on the violent Charlottesville far-right rally anniversary — that he is working for "ALL Americans."
The talking point that Conway tried to pivot to is one that Trump shared on Twitter on Saturday following his condemnation of "all types of racism and acts of violence" but not specifically white supremacy or neo-Nazism.
"I am proud to have fought for and secured the LOWEST African American and Hispanic unemployment rates in history," Trump tweeted. "Now I’m pushing for prison reform to give people who have paid their debt to society a second chance."
Manigault-Newman warned on Meet The Press almost simultaneously that the administration lies "every single day."