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Conway Denies Threatening Reporter in Bitter Phone Call

Listen yourself to conversation between Conway, 'Washington Examiner' journalist
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 25, 2019 8:06 AM CDT
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Kellyanne Conway, participates in a roundtable discussion on the opioid crisis on Capitol Hill in Washington on Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

(Newser) – A DC journalist says Kellyanne Conway bullied and threatened her on a phone call, and the White House counselor is pushing back. Mediaite reports Conway was miffed about an article in which Washington Examiner reporter Caitlin Yilek wrote about her being considered for the White House chief of staff role and mentioned her anti-Trump husband, George Conway. Per the Examiner, Conway's assistant called Yilek, asked for their chat to be off the record, then turned the call over to Conway (Yilek says that meant the call was no longer off the record). The paper has audio and a transcript of what went down, with Conway berating Yilek for talking about her husband "just for clicks," noting George Conway "gets his power through me," and mocking Yilek's "breaking news reporter" job title. Then this: "So, listen, if you're going to cover my personal life ... then we're welcome to do the same around here.

Conway defended herself on Twitter, calling it "dangerous ... to characterize someone else's intentions, feelings, or state of mind," once more slamming Yilek's reporting and job title, and denying she threatened Yilek. "[I] have been subjected to personal questions which seem gossipy, inappropriate, and irrelevant," she notes. Conway adds she always knew the call was on the record but suggests Yilek didn't think it was and says Yilek asked her at the end of the call to say something on the record. The paper's editor in chief sees it differently. "Off-the-record conversations ... are not, and never have been, blanket coverage to shield people who pull a bait and switch, peremptorily enter the conversation, and then spend ten minutes abusing, bullying, and threatening a reporter," Hugo Gurdon says. (Read more Kellyanne Conway stories.)

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