This Kellyanne Conway Nickname Coined By Ivanka & Jared Is A "Cruel" Disney Shoutout
It's no secret that the Trump White House is a dramatic place, and so far much of the drama seems to have circled around Trump's daughter, Ivanka Trump, and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner. While Kushner's longterm disagreements with former chief strategist Steve Bannon were already legend, it turns out that Bannon wasn't the only focus of Jared and Ivanka's ire. According to the new Trump White House tell-all Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, Jared and Ivanka had a nickname for Kellyanne Conway, the president's counselor and frequent media spokeswoman.
Based on the "vulgarity" of her appearance and behavior, which they apparently found similar to Cruella de Vil's, the first couple reportedly nicknamed Conway "Nails." This referred to both the length of her manicures and the way that she acted in defending the president on air, which, according to Fire and Fury, Jared and Ivanka reportedly described as "shamelessness." The book also claims that even while Trump enjoyed watching her defenses on TV, the other people in his White House orbit thought that her "militancy" was "idiotic."
In his controversial book, author Michael Wolff also describes a scene in which Conway tried to resign amid a swirl of rumors that she had fallen from her position from power. Instead of accepting her resignation, though, Wolff writes that Trump told her:
You will always have a place in administration. ... You will be here for eight years.
After switching over from the Ted Cruz campaign, Conway made a name for herself as the woman willing to say anything to defend Trump on national television. Fire and Fury's claim about Jared and Ivanka's reaction to this means that she was receiving criticism from everywhere on the political spectrum, from the SNL sketches about how much she wanted to be on TV to the fact that she was temporarily banned from appearing on CNN.
Her continued thrashing in the media, though, actually made her closer to the president, Wolff writes in Fire and Fury.
But she had indeed been sidelined, reduced to second-rate media, to being a designated emissary to right-wing groups and left out of any meaningful decision-making. This she blamed on the media, a scourge that further united her in self-pity with Trump. In fact, her relationship with the president deepened as they bonded over their media wounds.
This, however, reportedly didn't help the way the rest of the Trump team viewed her and her "hyperbolic" efforts to defend Trump. This could have been a combination of personal and professional concerns, as some of Conway's on air statements brought the administration a lot of criticism.
One memorable moment came early on, when she coined the now infamous term "alternative facts" in relation to the falsehoods that the administration had been pushing out about the crowd size at the inauguration. Another was the made-up "Bowling Green Massacre," which she tried to say was a misstatement, but which she had actually brought up in previous interviews before the one that went viral.
Even as they made up a nickname for one of their rivals in the ongoing power struggle that is the Trump White House, though, Jared and Ivanka didn't exactly avoid conflict and disdain themselves. Former chief strategist Steve Bannon and Kushner famously disagreed for the months when Bannon worked in the White House, and Bannon also called Ivanka "dumb as a brick" in a new revelation brought forward in Fire and Fury.
Fundamentally, Jared and Ivanka's nickname for Kellyanne Conway isn't huge, important news. Instead, it's another piece of evidence about how the Trump team functions, or rather does not function. All of Fire and Fury confirms these reports, which have been trickling out in leaks coming throughout the year, that the factions in the administration are constantly trying to bring each other down.