March 20, 2019

Frank Figliuzzi and Betsy Woodruff joined Nicolle Wallace to dissect the weirdness that is the George Conway and Donald Trump Twitter feud. And, man, is it weird. Considering George is Mr. Kellyanne, and Kellyanne is basically the Trump-whisperer, it all seems very made-for-TV. Unfortunately, it is also our reality, so it always helps to have the smartest journalistic minds parse things out for us.

For background, George Conway tweeted out two pages from the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual) of Mental Disorders. Those pages? One listed the characteristics of someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, and the other of someone with Antisocial Personality Disorder. Both pages were filled with traits that describe Trump perfectly. Trump was not amused. Commence school-yard name-calling.

Figliuzzi and Woodruff, though, had some fairly serious things to say about it. Figliuzzi's analysis was frankly, quite chilling.

FIGLIUZZI: If this were somebody else, what I would be thinking about would be what behavioralists talk about as the pathway to violence. There's a flashpoint that has warning signs and indicators before it occurs and it involves obsessive behavior and brooding on one issue. The inability to step back and see reality for what it is. The finding of an enemy and constantly finding enemies and targeting them, even in the case of John McCain, after death, and then the language of desperation is something we key in on, if someone's headed toward a flashpoint. That phrase, "Witch hunt, witch hunt," is a form of desperation, "I can't do anything about this." Where is this going? I'm concerned about where it's going because on a workplace violence level, it would be headed toward violence. If you're president of the United States, that flashpoint could look like something that is completely unexpected on the world scene, or on the national scene, and that's what should be troubling us about what Conway is warning us about.

Whoa. All of a sudden, it becomes less melodrama and more real. If we were inclined to dismiss any of this particular feud as comedy, we should absolutely not. It may be funny to think about the awkwardness at the Conway dinner table, but in reality, what he is telling us is deadly serious. We only have to think about Trump's recent bragging about how he has the tougher people on his side...the police, the military, the bikers...something he wants his critics to keep in mind. The Fox "News" morons telling people to buy more AR-15s. The Republicans in Congress saying in a Civil War, they'd win because they have more bullets.

Then Betsy Woodruff reminded us (okay, I technically didn't even know this to begin with) that in the early days, Trump offered George Conway a job as head of the DOJ's Civil Division, and he turned it down! Now, there's a man who sees the writing on the wall and has a conscience.

WOODRUFF: The job Conway would have had at the Justice Department was heading the Civil
Division, which handles all the lawsuits against the Administration. He would have been one of the top defenders of Trump. The travel ban, the ban on transgender people serving in the military, everything that Trump gets sued for would have been George Conway's problem and it's an interesting irony of history that he went from potentially being one of Trump's top defenders, to being one of his top antagonists. In addition, Conway's criticism of the president very much speaks for a huge swath of the white collar legal community, particularly in D.C. Trump has had a terrible time --

WALLACE: SUPER important point.

WOODRUFF: -- getting lawyers.

WALLACE: Just give me one more beat on that because that's absolutely correct.

WOODRUFF: Good lawyers don't want to work for Trump. He doesn't pay them and doesn't take their advice. It's been a problem throughout his entire career. He has always struggled to get competent counsel and a good piece of evidence of that is the fact that his current lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, basically can't go on TV anymore because the last time he went on, he made things worse for the president, not better. The reality is, people who practice the law who are nerdy about it, who dedicate their lives to it, who care deeply about these law and order and rule of law issues, look at President Trump and feel he's radioactive.

Well, considering what Figliuzzi was ominously portending, I don't ever want to hear the words "Trump" and "radioactive" in a sentence together. But I can certainly appreciate the point Woodruff made, and it crystallizes even further how brilliant and upstanding George Conway is. Kellyanne, though? It's a mystery, but there's no accounting for taste.

Can you help us out?

For 18 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.