Conway is clearly fried after a year on the campaign trail with Donald Trump and Ted Cruz (who she worked for before joining Team Trump in July), a presidential transition, and the grueling life of someone who has to routinely go on TV and say, definitively, that the sky is yellow. But despite seeming more exasperated than usual of late, Conway is as slippery as ever. Jake Tapper’s 25-minute interview with Kellyanne “Alternative Facts” Conway is a rollercoaster ride—maybe the most engaging document of the Trump era since the video of Richard Spencer getting decked.
But it also shows the best way to deal with Conway, the Barry Sanders of lying, who has run circles around other hosts. Here’s Slate’s William Saletan, breaking down her best technique:
Ask her about Russian interference in the election and she’ll reply, as in this interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC: “A lot of people in the mainstream media interfered with our election by trying to help Hillary Clinton win.” Ask her about the intelligence on the Russian hack—“You don’t believe the intercepts?” asked CNN’s Chris Cuomo—and she’ll say, “Here’s what I don’t believe … that [this issue is] so darn important to you now.”
But Tapper used Conway’s own game against her on Tuesday. When Conway attacked the press for lying, Tapper clapped back, “How about the president’s statements, Kellyanne, that are false, like the murder rate is the highest it’s been in almost half a century? False! How about the fact that the media doesn’t report on terrorist attacks? False!”
When Conway discussed the Trump White House’s preposterous claim that the mainstream media undercovered terror attacks, Tapper was ready with documentary evidence that proved otherwise. And he played his trump card, accurately accusing the Trump White House of intentionally overlooking the murder of six Canadian Muslims by a white supremacist.
Conway isn’t going to change—but Tapper just showed the hosts of the Sunday shows the best way to deal with her going forward. Or maybe the second-best—the best way to deal with Conway is simply not to invite her on in the first place.