Kellyanne Conway is allegedly the Counselor to the President, but it appears her job primarily consists of going on television and saying dumb shit. Take, for instance, her Sunday appearance on ABC’s The Week, in which she decided it was a good idea to admit that handing out hush money is standard practice in the White House—even though government ethics watchdogs have pointed out White House nondisclosure agreements are unconstitutional. Cool.
According to The Hill, Conway was addressing one of the allegations in famed fired staffer Omarosa Manigault Newman’s upcoming book, Unhinged: An Insider’s Account of the Trump White House—in it, Newman claimed she was offered a $15,000/month gig on the Trump campaign in exchange for her silence. When The Week host Jon Karl asked Conway about the agreements, Conway confirmed, “We have confidentiality agreements in the West Wing, absolutely we do,” then asked, “And why wouldn’t we?” When Karl pointed out that Conway is a public employee, she replied, “Confidentiality is implied, Jon,” adding, “You have a reasonable expectation of confidentiality and privacy in your conversations at your place of work.”
Conway’s showdown with Karl goes hand-in-hand with an op-ed piece in the Washington Post back in March, which reported that the Trump administration had staffers sign NDAs that were expected to last beyond Trump’s time in the White House; a number of groups, including the ACLU and former White House officials, say public employees can’t constitutionally sign private NDAs, so Conway’s essentially admitting fault here. Plus, considering that the White House is Leak Central (with Conway, allegedly, as its Leakphoid Mary) that “expectation of confidentiality and privacy” is pretty much a heap of bullshit.
The good news is, if the NDAs are illegal they’re likely hard to enforce, and since everyone in this administration appears to be a selfish dick, there’s a good chance the leaks will come pouring out once it seems imprudent to continue “protecting” Trump. They absolutely won’t save us from impending nuclear or environmental destruction, but at least we’ll get some good goss.