'I prefer to knife people from the front': Trump insider skewers Kellyanne Conway for prolific leaking and talking of Trump like a child
Judging based on what has been made public so far, the new book "Team of Vipers" by former communications aide to President Donald Trump Cliff Sims paints a devastating portrait of a vicious, opportunistic White House full of selfish and contemptible people.
In a new excerpt printed in Vanity Fair, Sims details a darkly revealing account of one of the administration's most notorious figures: Kellyanne Conway.
His description of her is unrelenting:
Her agenda—which was her survival over all others, including the president—became more and more transparent. Once you figured that out, everything about her seemed so calculated; every statement, even a seemingly innocuous one, seemed poll-tested by a focus group that existed inside her mind. She seemed to be perennially cloaked in an invisible fur coat, casting an all-knowing smile, as if she’d collected 98 Dalmatians with only 3 more to go.
But Sims doesn't just describe her in a negative light. He also accuses her of being one of the White House's most prolific leakers — in an administration that has been known for its leaks.
Sims said he discovered Conway's leaking through a careless move on her part. While he was working in her office on her laptop — at her direction — she was also texting with multiple reporters, he explained, texts that kept popping up on the computer he was using. Sims wrote:
Over the course of 20 minutes or so, she was having simultaneous conversations with no fewer than a half-dozen reporters, most of them from outlets the White House frequently trashed for publishing “fake news.” Journalists from The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, Politico, and Bloomberg were all popping up on the screen. And these weren’t policy conversations, or attempts to fend off attacks on the president. As I sat there trying to type, she bashed Jared Kushner, Reince Priebus, Steve Bannon, and Sean Spicer, all by name.
In a statement in response to the story, Conway said: “The real leakers, past and present, get much more positive press than I do. While it’s rare, I prefer to knife people from the front, so they see it coming."
This, of course, is not actually a denial.
Sims also revealed that Trump's relationship with Conway may not be as solid as it appears. Trump, he said, never really "fully understood" how selfish Conway is. And Sims said Conway would speak of how "challenging" it is to work for someone as mercurial as Trump, "talking about him like a child she had to set straight."