White House counselor Kellyanne Conway was trashing New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday night when Fox News host Martha MacCallum hit her with a rude awakening.
Conway accused the mayor of "lying to America" when he said he's "been on top of" the coronavirus crisis from the beginning, pointing to tweets in which he encouraged New Yorkers to go out despite early warnings to the contrary from medical experts as well as his decision to visit his gym "one last time" as the state was being quarantined.
"I think it shows you the contrast in leadership when you have feckless leaders," Conway said, referring to de Blasio, "or when you have a president, who's publicly facing every single day, giving people information engagement they need."
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At that point, MacCallum interrupted, saying, "But Kellyanne…" While the host didn't disagree with Conway's characterization of de Blasio, MacCallum couldn't stand by as the Trump counselor erased the weeks and weeks that the president spent downplaying the deadly virus.
"In terms of the things that you're mentioning, you could probably match up, some of those early statements from him with also similarly optimistic statements from President Trump, although they've handled it very differently since then," MacCallum said, arguably giving the president more credit than he deserves given his recent reversals on the value of social distancing.
"There's no comparison between the two leaders," Conway insisted. "There's no comparison."
"In terms of get out and live your life and go ahead and do what you're doing, back in early March?" MacCallum asked.
While Conway was able to provide evidence of others in the White House taking the pandemic seriously, she did not deny that Trump was vocally optimistic about the situation just a few weeks ago. Instead, she pivoted to touting his relatively good approval ratings as evidence that he's handling the pandemic well now, given that it "came out of nowhere."
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