'He swung an election': Kellyanne Conway appears to slip up and credits Comey with Trump's win
- Kellyanne Conway, a top counselor to President Donald Trump, said that former FBI Director James Comey "swung" the 2016 election in Trump's favor.
- Conway's comment, referring to Comey's October 2016 announcement that the FBI had reopened its investigation into Trump's rival, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, contradicts the White House's longstanding position.
- Conway reversed her argument later on Monday morning, arguing that Comey isn't capable of swinging an election.
Kellyanne Conway, a top counselor to President Donald Trump, said that former FBI Director James Comey "swung" the 2016 election, referring to Comey's October 2016 announcement that he had re-opened the FBI's investigation into Hillary Clinton's private email server just days before the presidential election, which many believe helped Trump win.
"This guy swung an election," Conway told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos on "Good Morning America" on Monday. "He thought the wrong person would win."
Conway's remark contradicts the White House's longstanding position on Comey's controversial move, which they say had no significant impact on the election.
Conway appeared to reverse her statement later on Monday morning during an interview with CNN.
"I saw James Comey last night and I thought, 'Is it true that James Comey swung an election? I don't think so,'" she said.
Conway defended her reversal in an interview with The Daily Beast also on Monday morning, claiming that she was being sarcastic in her ABC interview.
"I rolled my eyes and said 'Really, this guy swung an election?' It was sarcastic," she said.
But Trump repeatedly praised Comey's decision, saying he "did the right thing" by notifying Congress of the investigation's revival.
Days before the election, Trump argued it "took guts" for Comey to "make the move that he made in light of the kind of opposition that he had where they're trying to protect her from criminal prosecution."
He went on, "I was not his fan, but I'll tell you what, what he did he brought back his reputation."
Attorney General Jeff Sessions, then a top Trump campaign surrogate, also praised Comey's move, telling Fox News in late October and early November, 2016, that Comey "had an absolute duty … to come forward with the new information" and that he "did the right thing."
Trump and the White House reversed their position on Comey's handling of the Clinton investigation after the president unexpectedly fired Comey last May. Trump recently called Comey's actions "one of the worst 'botch jobs' of history."
But the president said in an interview last May that he actually fired Comey because of his handling of the FBI's investigation into Russian interference in the election and potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway slams former FBI Dir. James Comey: "This guy swung an election," she told @ABC's @GStephanopoulos. "He thought the wrong person would win." https://t.co/Myz7ZNighv pic.twitter.com/BXR0fj4Mfe- ABC News (@ABC) April 16, 2018