Donald Trump's campaign manager was questioned by CNN's Erin Burnett over the Trump Foundation's alleged illegal operations and Kellyanne Conway claimed the Washington Post reporter covering the story was "obsessed" with Donald Trump.
She said, "...this Washington Post reporter seems a little obsessed with Donald Trump these days."
That's what every news organization needs when covering a major party's Presidential nominee, Kellyanne! A healthy obsession to get to the facts and not be bullied by campaign surrogates.
Kellyanne Conway is very good at running out the clock with blather on TV interviews since almost every time she appears on camera, she's being asked about something illegal Trump has allegedly done, or something embarrassing he has said.
And one of her favorite tactics is to immediately change the subject to Hillary Clinton. No matter the topic. This interview is a perfect example.
Conway constantly ignored why David Fahrenthold's story is a big issue, making believe that since monies went to veterans, there was no issue at all. Trump is such a wonderfully generous man, you see.
Conway: And let's go back. This is classic Donald Trump. He wanted to raise the American flag as high as he possibly could over Mar-A-Lago. I think a lot of Americans at this point would applaud that, and, of course, the town or the county said he couldn't do it. I had to be smaller. So they started assessing a $1,250 a day fine.
So, the way that they, quote, "settled" it was for Mr. Trump to donate $100,000 for a veterans' group. I don't want that to be lost here. And so, the money went to veterans."
Yes, but Trump was supposed to settle the lawsuit with his OWN money and not the charity's. That's why the donation is illegal. He used tax-exempt Foundation money from other people to pay his settlement.
BURNETT: So, let me ask a couple of questions that you raise there, because you mentioned in "The Post" saying may have, and you are right, it does say may have. It goes on to quote a lawyer Jeffrey Tanenbaum who advises 700 nonprofits annually and his quote was, "I've never encountered anything so brazen", saying, "it's as blatant an example of self-dealing as I've seen in a while," again, referring to that Mar-A-Lago. That was another one with a golf course, as well, to settle a dispute -- a donation was given from a foundation to charity.
Can you categorically say there was no self-dealing? Or at this point, are you not sure?
CONWAY: Well, I've been talking to the people who are responsible for the Trump Foundation today, trying to get some facts and some figures. And so, I know this is all developing. We need to gather information.
The WaPo story came out eleven days ago and Kellyanne Conway doesn't have any real information to share with us. And the Trump camp has stated that the foundation was a small operation, who are we waiting for?
Conway continued her spin:
Conway: But let me tell you something. It's very important for people to you said what happened in these cases. Donations went to veterans groups. Donations went to another person's foundation in another instance.
The idea that the money -- when people hear self-dealing, Erin, you know what they think immediately, that it's going or the plane rides and fancy hotels and expensive meals and certainly salaries and overhead. Again, that sounds to me like the Clinton Foundation where a report this weekend said about 6 percent of their money got to charity. A lot of it was wasted in overhead. That is not --
BURNETT: Kellyanne, the point, though, is the Trump Foundation and if this was settling a lawsuit that enabled Donald Trump's business to benefit, whether it be Mar-A-Lago or a golf course, that would possibly then be self-dealing?
CONWAY: How -- I'm sorry, how did his golf course benefit from him redirecting moneys that mistakenly came to the Trump Foundation? He redirected them to someone else's private foundation based on a hole- in-one contest. They were misdirected to his foundation, I'm told by his accountants and attorneys. They went to the right foundation after that.
How in the world did his business benefit from that? How did Mar-A- Lago benefit from him giving $100,000 to veterans. The veterans benefit. And I think that's great. I applaud him for doing that. All he wanted to do was fly the American flag higher.
BURNETT: Business, of course, benefited by the lawsuit going away and being settled, right? That would be how the business benefited.
CONWAY: Well, there are many lawsuits against people. That's -- I think that is a bridge too far. I think you are making things up based on facts as they are not reported in this story, which also uses a lot of conditional phrasing, I would like to point out.
And then Conway smeared David Fahrenthold because - that's how they operate.
Conway: And, by the way, everybody should also note that foundation disbursements, as you know, under federal law are all a matter of public record. That is how this "Washington Post" reporter seems a little obsessed with Donald Trump these days, that's how he got this information in the first place. So, it's a matter of public record.
Of course this information is a matter of public record. And the record shows that Donald Trump has some legal issues.
We all wish that TV hosts would cut off all surrogates who obfuscate their way through an entire interview.
Sometimes it happens, but not enough.
I know discussing Trump's [alleged] illegal uses of his charity's money isn't sexy like Hillary Clinton was using a body double, but it's damn well important.
The media needs to do its job and stay "obsessed" with how Donald Trump made his tax-exempt foundation his personal piggy bank.