George Conway, the husband of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, wrote a scathing editorial on Monday blasting President Donald Trump’s recent attacks on a coalition of Democratic congresswomen as “racist to the core” and “beyond the bounds of human decency.”
Conway, a vocal critic of the president despite his wife’s senior role in his administration, said Trump’s comments in recent days had shifted his opinion of the president. Though Conway once thought of Trump as merely “boorish, dim-witted, inarticulate, incoherent, narcissistic and insensitive,” now the lawyer says the president’s behavior leaves “no doubt” about his character.
“No matter how much I found him ultimately unfit, I still gave him the benefit of the doubt about being a racist. No matter how much I came to dislike him, I didn’t want to think that the president of the United States is a racial bigot,” Conway wrote in The Washington Post. “Naivete, resentment and outright racism, roiled in a toxic mix, have given us a racist president. … Telling four non-white members of Congress — American citizens all, three natural-born — to ‘go back’ to the ‘countries’ they ‘originally came from’? That’s racist to the core.”
Conway’s comments come amid an ongoing furor over Trump’s vicious attacks against several Democratic lawmakers. In a series of tweets this weekend, the president, apparently referring to progressive Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Rashida Tlaib (Mich.), Ayanna Pressley (Mass.) and Ilhan Omar (Minn.) — should “go back” to the countries they came from.
All four are women of color, but only Omar was born outside the U.S. The Minnesota congresswoman’s family emigrated from Somalia when she was a child.
The remarks prompted a widespread outcry, with many saying they amounted to a racist, xenophobic and inaccurate attack on duly elected members of the government. But Trump refused to back down on Monday, telling reporters outside the White House he had no regrets about the statements.
“If you hate our country, if you’re not happy here, you can leave,” he said Monday. “You can leave. You can leave right now. Come back if you want. Don’t come back, that’s OK, too. But if you’re not happy, you can leave.”
The four congresswomen held their own news conference on Monday, at which they chastised the president’s attacks as “blatantly racist” and akin to the “agenda of white nationalists.”
“For him to condemn us and to say we are un-American for wanting to work hard to make this country be the country we all deserve to live in, it’s complete hypocrisy,” Omar said Monday.
In his piece in the Post, Conway also slammed Republican leaders for largely ignoring the controversy, saying that party members have largely grown accustomed to Trump’s divisive rhetoric and fearful he’ll turn against them.
“They’re silent because, knowing that he’s incorrigible, they have inured themselves to his wild statements; because, knowing that he’s a fool, they don’t really take his words seriously and pretend that others shouldn’t, either,” Conway wrote. “Because, knowing how damaging Trump’s words are, the Republicans don’t want to give succor to their political enemies; because, knowing how vindictive, stubborn and obtusely self-destructive Trump is, they fear his wrath.”