President Donald Trump escalated his public feud with the spouse of a top adviser Wednesday, attacking White House counselor Kellyanne Conway’s husband George as a “wack job” and a “husband from hell.”
“George Conway, often referred to as Mr. Kellyanne Conway by those who know him, is VERY jealous of his wife’s success & angry that I, with her help, didn’t give him the job he so desperately wanted,” Trump tweeted, referring to a post at the Justice Department. Conway, a conservative lawyer, withdrew from consideration for the role early in Trump’s presidency.
“I barely know him but just take a look, a stone cold LOSER & husband from hell!” Trump added.
Speaking to reporters Wednesday, Trump again claimed he didn’t know Conway.
“Well I don’t know him – I don’t know him. He’s a wack job, there’s no question about it, but I really don’t know him,” Trump told reporters on the South Lawn before departing for Lima, Ohio.
“I think he’s doing a tremendous disservice to a wonderful wife. Kellyanne is a wonderful woman, and I call him Mr. Kellyanne,” Trump added. “The fact is that he’s doing a tremendous disservice to a wife and family. She’s a wonderful woman.”
Wednesday’s tweet marks the first time Trump has publicly weighed in on the Conways’ marriage. While George Conway has long been critical of Trump, attacks between the two ratcheted up this week when Conway questioned Trump’s mental health, tweeting screengrabs of the medical definitions of narcissistic personality disorder and antisocial personality disorder from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
“*All* Americans should be thinking seriously *now* about Trump’s mental condition and psychological state, including and especially the media, Congress—and the Vice President and Cabinet,” he wrote Monday.
He responded to Trump’s Wednesday attack moments later, writing, “You seem determined to prove my point. Good for you! #NarcissisticPersonalityDisorder.”
In another tweet, he simply wrote, “You. Are. Nuts.”
While politically opposed couples are far from an oddity in Washington, it is unprecedented for a sitting president to publicly criticize an aide’s spouse. Likewise, it is unprecedented for an aide’s spouse to question the mental health of a sitting president.
Kellyanne Conway’s allies, including Trump and his 2020 campaign manager Brad Parscale, fired back earlier this week, with the President calling him a “total loser.”
Long a top Trump defender, she sided with her boss, telling reporters she did not share her husband’s concerns that Trump’s mental health is deteriorating.
“I have four kids and I was getting them out of the house this morning to talk to the President about substance so I may not be up to speed on all of them (his tweets),” she said Monday.
She also sided with the President in a Wednesday phone interview with Politico.
Trump, she told Politico, “left it alone for months out of respect for me.”
“But you think he shouldn’t respond when somebody, a non-medical professional accuses him of having a mental disorder? You think he should just take that sitting down?” she said.
“Don’t play psychiatrist any more than George should be,” she added. “You’re not a psychiatrist and he’s not, respectfully.”
In interviews with The New York Times and The Washington Post on Tuesday, George Conway said he uses Twitter as an outlet for his frustrations with the administration so he doesn’t argue with his wife at home.
“The mendacity, the incompetence, it’s just maddening to watch. The tweeting is just the way to get it out of the way, so I can get it off my chest and move on with my life that day. That’s basically it. Frankly, it’s so I don’t end up screaming at her about it,” he told the Post.
Trump also sought Wednesday to justify his Twitter bullying habits, slamming the media in the process.
“I think that Twitter is a way that I get out a word when I have a corrupt media,” Trump said, while speaking to the gathered White House press, touting “over 100 million people” who follow him across social media platforms, which didn’t account for duplicate follows and inactive accounts.
“It’s a way that I can get honesty out because there’s tremendous dishonesty with respect to the (media),” he said.