News & Politics

'Sold their souls for judges': Kellyanne Conway's husband blasts Trump's GOP as a 'personality cult'

George Conway, the husband of Trump's campaign manager and White House counselor, has renounced the GOP and formed a group to oppose Trump. He explains the decision in a new interview.

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

It is no secret that President Donald Trump's counselor Kellyanne Conway, a prominent mouthpiece for the administration who ran Trump's 2016 campaign, does not see eye to eye with her husband on the administration.

George Conway, a conservative lawyer who was previously offered a high-level job in Trump's Justice Department, has repeatedly criticized Trump's dishonesty and attacks on the rule of law on Twitter. This week, he took things even further by forming a new group of conservative and libertarian lawyers to oppose Trump, called Checks and Balances.

Sitting for an interview with Yahoo News podcast "Skullduggery," Conway explained his decision to leave the Republican Party.

"I don't feel comfortable being a Republican anymore," he said. "I think the Republican Party has become something of a personality cult."

One of the last straws for him, he said, was Trump's tweet attacking his former Attorney General Jeff Sessions for allowing indictments to be brought against GOP Reps. Chris Collins (R-NY) for insider trading and Duncan Hunter (R-CA) for theft of campaign funds.

"Two long running, Obama era, investigations of  two very popular Republican Congressmen were brought to a well publicized charge, just ahead of the Mid-Terms, by the Jeff Sessions Justice Department," Trump tweeted. "Two easy wins now in doubt because there is not enough time. Good job Jeff......"

"It was appalling," said Conway. "We're talking about someone who has sworn an oath to uphold the constitution and laws of the United States, and to criticize the attorney general for permitting justice to be done without regard to political party is very disturbing."

Conway downplayed questions about any political tension he has with his wife, saying "I don't think she likes it" when he attacks her boss, but that "we agree on most policy things." He also maintains he cried with joy when his wife managed to help Trump win in 2016, and that at the time he considered Trump "the lesser evil" to Hillary Clinton. But he admits that he is now no longer sure of that. "If faced with the choice again, I'd probably move to Australia."

Checks and Balances was formed by Conway and thirteen other conservative lawyers ahead of this year's gathering of the Federalist Society, the powerful association of lawyers and judges that dominates right-wing jurisprudence and is helping Trump stack the federal courts with extremist judges. Conway's group, which also includes a White House lawyer for the Bush administration and a former law clerk of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, broadly supports conservative legal theory, but opposes what they see as the Republican Party's current attempts to consolidate the three branches of government and erode constitutional checks on federal power.

"There's a perception out there that conservative lawyers have essentially sold their souls for judges and regulatory reform," Conway told The New York Times regarding the purpose of his new organization earlier this week. "We just want to be a voice speaking out, and to encourage others to speak out."

Don't let big tech control what news you see. Get more stories like this in your inbox, every day.

Matthew Chapman is a video game designer, science fiction author, and political reporter from Austin, TX. Follow him on Twitter @fawfulfan.