Is he criticizing the president or not? That seems to be the perennial question when people look at White House counselor Kellyanne Conway's husband's tweets. On Thursday, Conway's husband, attorney George Conway, appeared to have trolled President Trump with a tweet about FEC rules, likely referring to Rudy Giuliani's recent comments about adult film performer Stormy Daniels.
Many took the tweet as a reference to former New York City Mayor Giuliani's revelation on Wednesday that Trump had reimbursed his attorney Michael Cohen after Cohen personally paid Daniels $130,000 during the 2016 presidential campaign. Observers say the payment was effectively hush money to keep Daniels from speaking about an alleged one-time affair with Trump, which the president has denied through the White House.
In March, Cohen told ABC News that "the funds were taken from my home equity line and transferred internally to my LLC account in the same bank." While speaking to Fox News' Sean Hannity on Wednesday, Giuliani said, "It’s going to turn out to be perfectly legal; that money was not campaign money."
But Conway seemed to suggest otherwise on Thursday morning. The lawyer tweeted a screenshot of a particular passage on loans and gifts from the Federal Election Commission website. Here's what it says:
If any person, including a relative or friend of the candidate, gives or loans the candidate money "for the purpose of influencing any election for federal office," the funds are not considered personal funds of the candidate even if they are given to the candidate directly. Instead, the gift or loan is considered a contribution from the donor to the campaign, subject to the per-election limit and reportable by the campaign. This is true even if the candidate uses the funds for personal living expenses while campaigning.
Conway added no comment of his own.
Conway also retweeted Politico and Washington Post reporters' comments on Giuliani's claims. In one case, Conway retweeted The Post's White House bureau chief Philip Rucker who wrote, "This is obvious, but [it] still should be said: Giuliani’s reveal that Trump repaid Cohen $130,000 for hush money to Stormy Daniels renders the repeated denials to the American people from POTUS and his press secretary false and untrue."
In another case, Conway retweeted Politico's Emily Stephenson, who said that Giuliani's quotes from Wednesday night "still" gave the impression that Cohen's payment and Trump's reimbursement was "campaign-related." She was referring to Giuliani telling Fox News, "Imagine if that came out on Oct. 15, 2016 in the middle of the, you know, last debate with Hillary Clinton. ... Cohen didn’t even ask. Cohen made it go away. He did his job."
Conway also retweeted humorous screenshots of Giuliani by CNN reporter Andrew Kaczynski.
While looking at his tweets, some may wonder how Conway's wife reacts to them and if they affect her place in the White House at all. In fact, the subject was broached CNN's Dana Bash in April. Bash asked Kellyanne Conway about her husband's tweets — and it did not go well.
The White House counselor snubbed Bash. "It's fascinating to me that CNN would go there," she said. "But it’s very good for the whole world to just witness that it’s now fair game how people’s spouses and significant others may differ with them. I’m really surprised, but very, in some ways, relieved and gratified to see that. That should really be fun."
She went on, "You just brought him into this. This ought to be fun moving forward, Dana. We’re now going to talk about other people’s spouses and significant others just because they either work at the White House or CNN?"
But while his wife may not be happy about media's interest in her husband's social media habits, people still seem to be intrigued by George Conway's social media content. In March, he went on a mysterious tweet-deleting spree, especially concerning tweets that seemed to criticize Trump. When CNN asked why he went on a sudden e-detox, Conway simply said he had "nothing to add."