Kellyanne Conway: When Trump Says ‘Russia Hoax, He’s Not Talking About Russia Meddling’

By Melanie Arter | August 6, 2018 | 10:33 PM EDT

Kellyanne Conway, counselor to President Donald Trump (Screenshot)

( - Kellyanne Conway, counselor to President Donald Trump, told CBS “Face the Nation” on Sunday that when Trump mentions the Russia hoax, he’s not referring to Russia meddling.

“When the president says Russia hoax, he's not talking about Russia meddling. He's been very clear about that, as has his team, and he was very clear in Ohio last night,” Conway said.

“The president, when he says Russia hoax, he means the investigation and some others on TV, never under oath, wanting to suggest that somehow Russian meddling in the 2016 election was successful in changing a single vote or indeed any the electoral outcome,” she said.

“And we know that. We know Judge T.S. Ellis in that Virginia courtroom in the Manafort trial has specifically instructed folks to not mention Russia, Trump or collusion. That hardly stops people from going on TV mentioning Russia, collusion and Trump,” Conway added.

When asked why Trump wasn’t echoing the same message that his national security team made when characterizing how Russia attempted to interfere in the 2016 election, Conway said “it was the president’s idea to have his national security team go to the podium in the White House press briefing room, to go and share with the country and indeed the world that Russia meddled in the 2016 election.”

“There continue to be active cyber-security, cyber-warfare campaigns, if you will, by North Korea, Iran, China, certainly Russia,” Conway said.

“And this president wants to make very clear that he was not the president in 2016, when evidence of Russian interference and meddling in our democracy in 2016 was presented to that president and his security team and buried, because they wanted the other person to win, and indeed thought she would win the presidency. This president is not burying it,” she said.

“I was in that briefing with the president the Friday before, and I was there to witness firsthand when the president directed his national security team to go and tell everyone what's happening,” Conway said.

“I think also, earlier last week, you saw Secretary of Homeland Kirstjen Nielsen and our Vice President Mike Pence up in New York hosting a cybersecurity conference, where they made very clear cybersecurity and election security are important priorities,” Conway said.

“I would note that, according to most objective analyses, the number one topic this calendar year by the mainstream media on television is -- is, in fact, Russia and the elections,” she said.

As previously reported, the administration’s top national security officials - Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, FBI Director Christopher Wray, DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, Director of the National Security Agency General Paul Nakasone, and National Security Advisor Ambassador John Bolton - spoke at Thursday’s White House briefing to address efforts to secure the 2018 midterm election from meddling.


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