Kellyanne Conway has been chewed out by various factions, even by President Donald Trump’s own daughter, Ivanka, for throwing in a free commercial of her fashion brand on television. And now she’s under attack by the president of her alma mater.
Trinity Washington University President Patricia McGuire lambasted the councilor to the president, calling her out for “playing a large role in facilitating the manipulation of facts and encouraging the grave injustice being perpetrated by the Trump administration.”
Writing a post on the university’s blog, titled “On Lies and the Truths We Must Tell,” McGuire turned to Conway, class of 1989, stating, “her advocacy on his [President Trump’s] behalf is often at variance with the truth. Ms. Conway invented the now-infamous phrase 'alternative facts' to defend Trump’s claims about the size of crowds at his inauguration, a thinly veiled autocratic scheme to try to claim that the Trump inauguration drew the biggest crowd in history when, in fact, it was on the smaller side.”
McGuire also referred to Conway’s repeated attempts to create a fictitious massacre to justify Trump’s highly unconstitutional visa ban on seven countries.
“Ms. Conway has been part of a team that thinks nothing of shaping and spreading a skein of lies as a means to secure power. Perhaps the 'Bowling Green Massacre' comment was truly a mistake, as she claims, but she repeated that canard on three different occasions as an explanation for why the travel ban, an executive order that clearly discriminates against Muslims, was necessary,” said the university president.
University students and staff alike have been critical of Trump’s policies and his choice of top advisers and much of McGuire’s sentiments were echoed in the university’s Twitter account.
Conway, according to The Washington Post, was surprised and annoyed by her alma mater’s stance against her.
“I get better treatment from Robby Mook,” Conway said, of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign manager, “than I do from the president of the university I attended.”
“It’s a disappointment to have the president of the university lift up other Trinity graduates who have a casual relationship with the truth,” she said, referring to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) as an example, “attack me, and never have the courtesy of calling or emailing me to ask what I meant on any given occasion.”
Trinity has praised other alumnae, Democrats and Republicans alike, such as former President Barack Obama administration Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and as Conway remarked, Pelosi who graduated in 1962.
Conway said that McGuire’s encouragement of Pelosi — especially in light of the Democrat being pro-choice — and her disparagement of the president’s counselor suggested a “very narrowly subscribed political viewpoint.”
“Look at the disparate treatment of the two us,” Conway said. It “tells the entire tale.”
University presidents used to be part of the national discourse, especially during the Civil Rights battle and Vietnam War, as noted by The Washington Post, but over the years, due to the increased role of fundraising they have to play, building a community among a diverse pool of students and establishing pride in the institution, this tradition has largely gone out of practice.
So it is quite unusual that McGuire decided to call out Conway on her transgressions. However, she is not apologetic, claiming it was her duty as an educator to do so:
“When you lie so consistently as this administration does, that’s a moral issue. We are teachers. We have an honor system here. We believe deeply in upholding the value of truth. … it’s urgent not to be shy about it,” she said. “I don’t go around denouncing our alumnae. I want to be on the record: We don’t condone lying. We can’t say someone is exempt from that.”
Leon Botstein, the president of Bard College, backs McGuire in this regard.
“Truth-telling is a crucial element of democracy, a true and absolutely indispensable component of any true definition of freedom,” he said. “If we don’t stand up for what we believe, we have nobody to blame at the end but ourselves.”
Banner/Thumbnail credit: Reuters/Wikimedia