Wednesday 21 February 2018

Kellyanne Conway claims she didn't tweet Valentines Day message to a white nationalist

Kellyanne Conway, senior adviser to President Donald Trump (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Kellyanne Conway, senior adviser to President Donald Trump (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Maya Oppenheim

Donald Trump’s senior adviser’s Twitter account not only retweeted a white nationalist but also composed a Valentines Day message to them.

Kellyanne Conway’s tweet was deleted after others noticed it, with the senior advisor denying she had sent the message. Distancing herself from the blunder, Ms Conway said she had never heard of the white nationalist account and “denounced” it.

The account, which is called Lib Hypocrisy, explicitly labels itself as white nationalist. Its Twitter image is a cartoon blond girl wearing a “US Border control” hat and its Twitter bio reads “Hate Anti-American Liberals, Marxists & Commies” and uses the hashtags “white identity” and “nationalist”.

The exchange was prompted after Ms Conway was pressed about why she went on television to claim President Trump had “full confidence” in Michael Flynn, his national security advisor, hours before he resigned from the White House.

Lib Hypocrisy rushed to defend Ms Conway after the interviewer told she wasn’t making “sense”. 

Ms Conway’s account retweeted the image and then sent a response saying: “Love you back. Happy ❤❤Day to the Hapless Haters”.

Kellyanne Conway. Photo: Reuters
Kellyanne Conway. Photo: Reuters

The white nationalist account has a Pepe the emoticon, a cartoon character which has become a symbol for white nationalism. It also claims to “love Geert Wilders”, a populist far-right Dutch politician who wants to close mosques in Holland, and Steve Bannon, one of Mr Trump’s chief strategists and the former executive chairman of far-right site Breitbart News.

Speaking to Buzzfeed News, who first highlighted the exchange, Ms Conway denied she had sent the tweet.

Kellyanne Conway, President Trump’s top counselor, during MSNBC interview
Kellyanne Conway, President Trump’s top counselor, during MSNBC interview

“I don’t know who had access to my account," she said on Tuesday.

“Let me see who tweeted that. That’s terrible.”

She claimed she had “obviously” never heard of Lib Hypocrisy, saying: “I denounce whoever it is. It will be immediately deleted. Everybody makes mistakes.”

White nationalism is a type of nationalism founded on the belief that white people are a race and is driven by the desire to develop and maintain a white national identity. Critics argue white nationalism exists to offer a more palatable, sanitised face for white supremacy which is not plagued with negative connotations.

This is by no means the first time the Trump team have been linked to white nationalism. Other examples include Mr Trump failing to disavow support from former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke when pressed about it repeatedly on CNN, and then blaming a "bad earpiece” in February last year.

What’s more, in July 2015, Mr Trump’s campaign tweeted an image of himself superimposed over a picture of WWII-era Waffen-SS soldiers, and then later blamed an incident on a “young intern”.

Independent News Service

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