Just when you thought the circus surrounding President-elect Donald Trump left its final madness in 2016, new headlines regarding a Russian blackmail ploy and alleged "golden showers" surfaced to remind us that the craziness isn't over just yet. Just hours after Buzzfeed published the unverified report, Kellyanne Conway denied the Trump-Russia allegations document in its entirety for one specific reason. Update: On Wednesday morning, Russia denounced the unverified report involving supposedly compromising allegations against Donald Trump as an "absolute fabrication."
The Trump counselor appeared on Late Night with Seth Meyers shortly after news of the unconfirmed Russian dossier broke. And though she firmly spoke out against the veracity of the report, which is being investigated by the FBI, she seemed to get a few facts wrong in doing so.
During her interview with Meyers, which aired on Jan. 10, Trump's former campaign manager was unequivocal in her assessment of the situation. She implied that because there aren't any sources, there shouldn't be a story. She told Meyers:
Guess what hasn't happened, Seth? Nobody has sourced it. They're all unnamed, unspoken sources in the story, and it says it was based on a Russian investigator to begin with, so where are we?
Following her cry of "where's the receipts," however, Conway shifted the conversation and claimed that Trump hadn't received word of the allegations. CNN and others reported that the dossier containing the allegations were presented to both Trump and President Obama last week, but Conway, in her flippant manner, classically stuck to her guns.
To his credit, Meyers never explicitly mentioned the "golden showers" aspect of the allegations, perhaps the most lascivious bombshell in the reports that also claim the Russian government deliberately kept and gathered information about Trump for blackmail purposes. Instead, he kept his language deliberately vague, a surprisingly fresh moment of decency in an ever-vulgar political climate.
While some of her fact-checking might have been shady, Conway's point of refutation was solid — unconfirmed allegations from foreign agents (especially secondhand ones, such as the unnamed British intelligence agent mentioned in CNN's reports on the dossier) shouldn't become headline news until they can be verified. Unfortunately, the context of Trump's rise to the presidency doesn't exactly lend itself to the kind of reserved reporting Conway called for with Meyers. And it's unlikely that her boss' itchy Twitter finger (or allegations of his wrongdoing) will slow down anytime soon.
As with every other interview she's given in her capacity as Trump's campaign manager and counselor, Conway's appearance on The Late Show was as bizarre and opaque as it was telling. Despite her status as a laughingstock among liberals, Conway is also in the most powerful PR position in the country right now, and as such, her explanation about the #GoldenShowers scandal will become fact for millions of Trump supporters. She's not to be underestimated, even when her spin is apparent to so many of us.