Helen Nianias | Contributing writer | Thursday, 16 February 2017

Who Is Kellyanne Conway

So Who Is Kellyanne Conway? Your Need To Know...

The Debrief: Trump's spokeswoman, Kellyanne Conway is rapidly becoming a household name. From punch-ups at the Inaugural Ball, to made-up massacres and racist slurs - you bet it's all for the wrong reasons

We have all become familiar very quickly with a certain blonde-haired, deep-tanned Trump spokeswoman on the news. Kellyanne Conway, Counselor to the President, has fast become something of a celebrity over the last few weeks, but how much do we know about her? 

Did Kellyanne Conway work for Steve Bannon?

This is a question lots of people have been asking, but no. Conway was originally Republican rival Ted Cruz’s campaign manager, but Trump snapped her up as soon as Cruz crashed out of the race for Republican presidential candidate. Conway  had gained a reputation for, as New York Magazine put it,  'Helping [Republican] Men Sound Less Piggish' and steered Trump to victory. Fact fans, this meant she became the first woman to ever run a successful presidential campaign. 

Kellyanne Connway at the Inauguration

It was even reported that she punched a man at the Inaugural Ball. A Fox Business journalist claims to have watched Conway break up a fight and 'throw punches' at one of the participants. 'Inside the ball we see a fight between two guys in tuxes and then suddenly out of nowhere came Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway who began throwing some mean punches at one of the guys,' he says. 'Whole thing lasted a few mins no one was hurt except maybe the dude she smacked. Now I know why Trump hired her.' 

Did Kellyanne Conway get a cabinet position?

Again, lots of people have been asking this, but no. In her current role as Trump’s Counselor, she works a key advisor to the President and deals with the communications side of things. 

Kellyanne Conway: alternative facts

This has been where Conway has met with much controversy. While sticking up for Trump, she has ended up putting her foot in it. Her first headline-grabbing-what-the-actual moment came when she was pressed by NBC about the size of the crowd at the Inauguration. The host queried why Trump’s team had been calling it 'the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period.' When challenged, Conway said: 'You're saying it's a falsehood. And they're giving - Sean Spicer, our press secretary - gave alternative facts.'

Conway was notorious during the campaign for her ferocious defense of Trump, and having to handle a lot of tricky questions on his behalf, but the inauguration ushered in a new era of comms challenges.

Kellyanne Conway: Bowling Green Mssacre

Hot on the heels of Alternative Facts came the now notorious 'Bowling Green Massacre'. While defending Trump’s 'Muslim ban', she referred to a similar Obama policy following the Bowling Green Massacre in 2011 on MSNBC. There was no massacre. She later righted herself after her statement was widely mocked, saying that she was referring to two Iraqi citizens from Bowling Green, Kentucky, who masterminded a terrorist attack. The attack never came to fruition.

However, Cosmopolitan pointed out that she had referred to the same fictitious massacre in a separate interview with them

And then other people pointed out that the Obama administration had not prevented Iraqis entering the US, but increased vetting procedures for some Iraqis wanting to enter the country. 

What does Kellyanne Conway believe in? 

Excellent question. From a distance, Conway is a mass of contradictions. She is a keen pro-lifer, who said at the recent March For Life through Washington, 'This is a time of incredible promise for pro-life, pro-adoption movement. Our action must reach those women who face unplanned pregnancies, they should know they are not alone. They’re not judged. They’re protected and cared for and celebrated.' However, in an interview with the Washington Post she said that she 'understood' why women chose to have abortions.  

Mercifully, she does not use her Twitter bio to describe herself as a 'wife and mom' as so many powerful women in the USA do, but is merely 'Counselor to the President'. Straight for the kill. However, that doesn’t make her a feminist icon. Quite the opposite, as she told the Washington Post. 'I don’t consider myself a feminist,' she said. 'I think my generation isn’t a big fan of labels. My favorite label is mommy. I feel like the feminist movement has been hijacked by the pro-abortion movement or the anti-male sentiments that you read in some of their propaganda and writings. I’m not anti-male.'

Does Kellyanne Conway have a degree? 

So, another question people have been searching for - and yes, yes she does. Conway is from Atco, New Jersey, and her father left when she was a toddler and gave her and her mother no financial or emotional support. She told Page Six: 'Mom put me through Catholic school and, with $125,000 in student loans, through law school. I wanted to be an OBGYN doctor, but law school was faster. So . . . now . . . I’m tough but polite. And I’m trying to smile more.' 

Her conservative opinions shouldn’t come as a surprise – in 2005 she criticised a cartoon that portrayed a gay couple as parents, saying that people 'don't want their kids looking at a cartoon with a bunch of lesbian mothers' and that it’s not a case of 'right versus left, but right versus wrong'.  

Media Matters, a liberal media watchdog, also quotes Conway as saying in 2007 that people not learning to speak English in the USA could cause plane crashed. 'In fact, what starts out as maybe the person doesn't speak English, getting - putting mayonnaise instead of mustard as you requested on your sandwich is one day going to blossom into two air traffic controllers who don't speak great English because political correctness has made us appoint them to those positions. They're going to have two planes crashing in the sky. And that's not a dramatic example. That's what happens with slippery slopes.' 

This was 10 years ago, but the cult of Conway is still going strong. 

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