Kellyanne Conway said Tuesday that she had her own “Me too” moment in which she decried sexual harassment during the 2016 presidential election but that “nobody cared” due to her political views.
Speaking at the POLITICO Women Rule Summit, the counselor to the president called out what she described as a double-standard in how the media perceives allegations of misconduct by men against liberal versus conservative women.
“Yes, of course I’ve had a ‘Me too’ moment, but nobody cared about that,” Conway said when asked by POLITICO’s Anna Palmer about her personal connection to the movement that has seen a wave of women speak out about acts of sexual impropriety by powerful men. “If we’re going to have an honest conversation everyone — you can’t pick and choose depending on somebody’s politics.”
According to Conway, a day after the release of the explosive “Access Hollywood” tape — in which then-candidate Donald Trump boasted about groping women during an off-camera conversation with host Billy Bush — she sought to denounce what she said were instances of sexual harassment by congressmen against her and other women during her time working as a Republican political operative in Washington, D.C. But she said she was ignored by the press.
Under fire to defend Trump’s lewd comments about women, Conway cast the lawmakers and officials criticizing his remarks as hypocrites during an interview with MSNBC last October.
“I would talk to some of the members of Congress out there,” Conway said during an Oct. 9 appearance. “When I was younger and prettier, them rubbing up against girls, sticking their tongues down women’s throats, uninvited, who didn’t like it.”
The defense came hours after Trump denied wrongdoing during a presidential debate with Hillary Clinton, describing the remarks as “locker room talk.” The taped comments and defense by Trump prompted women to come forward in the following weeks with allegations that he had sexually harassed or assaulted them.
Conway, during a tense exchange at the Women Rule event, sparred with a protester who challenged her to justify Trump’s “Access Hollywood” remarks given his self-professed respect for women.
After the heckler was told to stand down by event officials, Conway quipped that she didn’t want to see them taken away on her behalf.
“I think everyone has a right to sound like a complete jackass if they want to,” she said.
Conway also blasted what she characterized as sexist coverage of the women working in the Trump administration.
“You have to be the bigger person to have these jobs,” she said. “At the same time an honest conversation is one that does not discriminate against someone that has been on the receiving end of it because of their politics.”
Conway also defended his record on women in the workplace.
“I can tell you that this is an administration … that values the female advisers,” she said.