Kellyanne Conway ran President Trump's campaign all the way to 1600 Pennsylvania. She's been a staunch and unwavering defender of the president since his inauguration, but her husband ... has not. According to Politico, George Conway offers writers tips to criticize Trump more effectively.
Politico reported that several writers have said they've received emails from Conway with notes on how to improve their anti-Trump arguments. These messages from Conway were "unsolicited," according to the publication.
But it's not as if Conway's feelings about Trump have been heretofore a mystery. The husband of one of Trump's most high-ranking, visible, and vehement supporters has often expressed his dissent on the president's own favorite medium of uncensored sharing — Twitter. Retweets of Trump criticism are a regular feature on Conway's Twitter feed.
Just in the past week, Conway retweeted a CSPAN video featuring a back-and-forth between Rep. Ted Lieu and Trump's newly appointed secretary of state, Mike Pompeo. During the discussion, the two men agree there is no "criminal deep state," clearly a message meant for Trump. The president spent Wednesday morning tweeting a series of messages claiming the FBI had implanted an agent in his campaign for political purposes, an unsubstantiated story Trump has dubbed "Spygate." Trump has referred to this supposedly interconnected web of sabotage as the "Criminal Deep State."
In a Reuters article that ran on May 17, Conway commented that the recently hired White House lawyer Rudy Giuliani was incorrect in asserting that a president cannot be subpoenaed. Conway said that Giuliani's argument was "drivel."
And Conway knows a thing or two about presidential subpoenas. A veteran Washington lawyer, Conway authored briefs presented to the Supreme Court that resulted in a unanimous ruling that presidents could be called upon to testify in court, Reuters reported. The case concerned allegations made by Paula Jones against then-President Bill Clinton, which he denied.
Friends and colleagues of Conway told Politico that he has a "contrarian streak" and is not the type to stay mum when he has an opinion. And some think his anti-Trump tweets aren't meant for White House eyes — they're really directed at fellow members of the Federalist Society. The group of conservative lawyers and legal experts describes itself as "a group of conservatives and libertarians interested in the current state of the legal order." Part of their mission is to alter "priorities within the legal system to place a premium on individual liberty, traditional values, and the rule of law."
Conway has broken with the general consensus of the Federalist Society, which has been to publicly refrain from criticizing Trump in order to secure the appointment of conservative judges (think Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch) and gain other desired legal outcomes from the POTUS. Sources told Politico that Conway's tweets are likely more a message for colleagues he thinks have abandoned their principles by tacitly supporting Trump's presidency.
His uncompromising stance has cost Conway. Before Trump's 2016 election win, he lived in New York and worked as a partner at the law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz. But with wife Kellyanne's meteoric rise, first in Trump's campaign and later his administration, Conway moved with their four children to Washington, D.C. — a move that involved him relinquishing his prestigious law firm partnership.
In lieu of his former career, Conway was slated to become a top lawyer at the Justice Department as head of its civil division. Politico reported that Conway started to voice hesitations about taking the prominent job in the Trump administration after the president fired former FBI Director James Comey. He did eventually withdraw himself from consideration for the position, citing family reasons that some suggest were a front for deeper concerns about Trump.
Since then, Conway's clear opposition to the president's MO has been consistently popping up on Twitter. It seems he's even willing to offer unsolicited suggestions to other Trump critics.