Trump: George Conway is ‘just trying to get publicity for himself’

Trump: George Conway is ‘just trying to get publicity for himself’
© Getty Images

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump directed Cohen to lie to Congress about plans to build Trump Tower in Moscow during 2016 campaign: report DC train system losing 0k per day during government shutdown Senate Republicans eye rules change to speed Trump nominees MORE on Friday criticized George Conway, the husband of White House counselor Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayTrump 2020 campaign manager hits George Conway: 'Think how bad of a husband you have to be' Trump’s polls sag amid wall fight George Conway: Nothing Trump says 'can be taken at face value' MORE, for an op-ed he co-wrote slamming the president's appointment of Matt WhitakerMatthew G WhitakerWilliam Barr's only 'flaw' is that he was nominated by Trump Rosenstein, DOJ exploring ways to more easily spy on journalists Pelosi takes power and sets high bar for Trump impeachment MORE as acting attorney general.

“You mean Mr. Kellyanne Conway? He's just trying to get publicity for himself," Trump told reporters when asked about the op-ed. "Why don't you do this, why don't you ask Kellyanne that question, all right? She might know him better than me.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Conway co-wrote the op-ed with Neal Katyal, who served as acting solicitor general during the Obama administration. The two argued that Whitaker’s appointment to temporarily replace former Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsOvernight Health Care: Thousands more migrant children may have been separated | Senate rejects bill to permanently ban federal funds for abortion | Women's March to lobby for 'Medicare for All' Acting AG Whitaker's wife defends him in lengthy email to journalist Watchdog: Thousands more migrant children separated from parents than previously known MORE is in violation of the Appointments Clause of the Constitution, which stipulates that principal officers must be confirmed by the Senate.

“President Trump’s installation of Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general of the United States after forcing the resignation of Jeff Sessions is unconstitutional," they wrote. "It’s illegal. And it means that anything Mr. Whitaker does, or tries to do, in that position is invalid.”

Trump announced Wednesday that Whitaker, who was Sessions’s chief of staff at the Justice Department, would take over as acting attorney general. Sessions submitted his letter of resignation on Wednesday at Trump’s request.

Whitaker’s appointment was immediately met with a firestorm of criticism over past comments he made regarding special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE’s Russia probe, which he now oversees, and about the judiciary at large.

Most recently, Whitaker defended Trump against the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, saying in a 2017 interview that there was “no collusion with the Russians and the Trump campaign.”

“Hollow calls for independent prosecutors are just craven attempts to score cheap political points and serve the public in no measurable way,” he wrote in an op-ed for The Hill last year.

In 2014, Whitaker said, “The courts are supposed to be the inferior branch of our three branches of government.”