Presidential administrations are lucky if they’re not ultimately remembered for a mistakenly uttered unfortunate phrase which turns into a lasting joke. As it turns out, it’s taken the Donald Trump administration all of forty-eight hours to unwittingly brand itself with the phrase “alternative facts.” And it came from Kellyanne Conway, who had been primarily in charge of spinning Trump’s lies but who has been fumbling that task for weeks and may now be on her way out.
The trouble started when Trump send his press secretary Sean Spicer to the White House podium yesterday to read a bizarre series of lies about the inauguration crowd size, while looking uncomfortable and seemingly questioning his career choices. That in and of itself became a punchline, with “#spicerfacts” trending on Twitter for the remainder of the day. That forced Trump to dust off Conway, who had done fairly poorly in her previous mop-up appearances on Meet The Press and Late Night with Seth Myers. And let’s just say that Kellyanne stepped in it so badly, she may have temporarily gotten Spicer off the hook.
Meet The Press host Chuck Todd confronted Kellyanne Conway today by pointing out that Sean Spicer had invoked “falsehoods” in his press statement. Conway incredibly replied with “Sean Spicer, our press secretary, gave alternative facts.” Todd fired back with “Alternative facts aren’t facts, they are falsehoods.” Conway floundered some more, before Todd chided her for refusing to answer his original question about why the Trump administration was wasting time arguing about crowd size, with Todd at one point calling the whole thing “ridiculous.”
And so in the crucial moment where Donald Trump had to call a slumping Kellyanne Conway out of the bullpen to try to clean up the mess that Sean Spicer had made the day before, Conway made it even worse. At least Spicer stuck to the script. Conway invented a new way for America to make fun of him. Will Trump call her out of the bullpen again? And if not, is the end of her tenure near?
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report