Last week was another interesting one in Trump World. The Orange Emperor’s claim that he had his “wires tapped” by President Obama has been questioned and condemned by both sides in Washington and the House Intelligence Committee has told Trump to “put up or shut up” — either provide evidence that there is substance to his charge, or drop it.
However, Trump surrogate Kellyanne Conway is still out there making the claim, and on Sunday she even suggested that the Trump campaign was being monitored in a variety of ways in addition to wiretapping. She sat down with Bergen Record columnist Mike Kelly to talk about the first 50 days of Trump, and she had some rather interesting things to say on the topic.
The first half of the interview was about the American Health Care Act, the GOP’s proposed replacement for Obamacare. Conway recited the usual anti-ACA claims and told Kelly about how wonderful the new proposal will be.
So far, so good. But this is Kellyanne we’re talking about here, so naturally you expect her to wander off the farm. Which she did as soon as Kelly asked her about Trump’s wiretap allegations.
“Do you know whether Trump tower was wiretapped?” Kelly asked.
“What I can say is there are many ways to surveil each other now, unfortunately,” Conway responded. “There was an article this week that talked about how you can surveil someone through their phones, through their — certainly through their television sets, any number of different ways.”
She was referring to the stories surrounding the WikiLeaks dump of CIA documents that occurred last week. That dump outlined the various methods the agency can use to gain access to internet connected devices such as smart tvs and computers, turning the cameras and microphones in those devices into surveillance platforms. But then she added this:
“Microwaves that turn into cameras, etc. So we know that that is just a fact of modern life.”
Microwaves that turn into cameras. Kellyanne, you should have quit while you were ahead. Now I’ll admit that I’ve never taken a microwave apart, but I’ll be willing to bet that the CIA isn’t paying manufacturers to put camera lenses in the appliance you use to fix your dinner. “Oh, look at that, the Smiths are having pot roast again!”
This is what we have come to expect from Mrs. Conway, who may be the most adept person ever at just making up shit to back up her argument. On Monday morning she went on Good Morning America, where she told George Stephanopoulos that she had no proof of anything she was saying.
Stephanopoulos wanted to know why Conway would say what she said to Kelly without any evidence. Conway immediately claimed she wasn’t talking about the supposed surveillance of Trump Tower.
“I answered him about surveilling generally,” she said.
Stephanopoulos noted, “But you have no evidence that that kind of surveillance was used against Trump Tower.”
“I have no evidence, but that’s why there’s an investigation in Congress,” Conway shot back.
After letting Conway prattle on for a moment about congressional investigations and the FBI, Stephanopoulos asked her one more time about her claims.
“Just to be clear, you have no evidence for these allegations,” he asked.
Conway responded as if she had just been asked the world’s dumbest question by the world’s dumbest person. “No, of course I don’t have any evidence for those allegations,” she said. “And that answer has nothing to do with what the president said last week.”
It’s easy to dismiss Conway as just another clueless Trump flunky. But I don’t think that’s the case at all. She aims her outrageous comments at a certain audience — diehard Trump supporters who believe everything he and his minions tell them. She is playing the “Trump is a victim of the establishment, just like you” card.
Conway, a denial and obfuscation pro unlike any other, says something (There are ways other than wiretaps to conduct surveillance, hint, hint.), then pretends that her answer has nothing to do with the question she was asked. Members of the sane world listen and shake their heads. But now all of the empty-headed Trump supporters are thinking exactly what Conway and her boss want them to think: “Of course they didn’t wiretap Trump. They didn’t need to. They just turned on the camera in his microwave.”