As Donald Trump prepares to leave the White House, former adviser Kellyanne Conway is defending him to the bitter end, saying that the violent US Capitol mob “insult, not represent, the Trump movement”.
In an interview with Bill Maher on Friday, Ms Conway also claimed that her former boss’s term in office left many people better off, and that he had a positive impact on the country.
She addressed the assault on the Capitol by pro-Trump rioters that left five dead, saying she wished Mr Trump had acted sooner to curtail the violence and described the events as “horrible” and “inexcusable”.
“I wish the president had spoken with the people earlier to get them the hell out of there,” said Ms Conway, who condemned the mob on Twitter as they stormed the building.
“I think those marauders and murderers, they insult, not represent, the Trump movement,” she said.
She argued that the 74 million people who voted for the president are “not a base”, but a “large percentage of this country".
Ms Conway said that her former boss had given a voice to the “forgotten man and woman”.
“The Trump people are constantly mocked and they felt like they had in Donald Trump someone who was giving them more voice and visibility,” she said. “If you can match that with policy gains … with deregulation and taxes lowered for people where it matters ... I think his legacy on the policy stuff will survive.”
Ms Conway said that she had no regrets about working for Mr Trump.
“For me, I look at the good that was done to impact people's lives positively. I think that government is messy, but I'm happy that I worked for a president who kept the Oval Office door open to many of us,” she said. “I didn't win every policy debate, but I was heard.”
Ms Conway listed the Trump administration’s accomplishments during her appearance on Maher’s Real Time show on HBO, citing the rebuilding of the military, a record-breaking economy, and the killing of terrorists as achievements.
She also voiced her disappointment that the positives of the past four years were not highlighted during the two months since the election.
Ms Conway left the White House in August last year to spend more time with her family.
Her husband George Conway is a founder of The Lincoln Project, an anti-Trump group of Republicans. He is particularly active on Twitter, accusing the president of debasing his office, compulsively lying, being racist, and having a mental disorder.
The Conways’ teenage daughter, Claudia, became famous for her social media posts during 2020 that supported Black Lives Matter and expressed dislike of the president. She also revealed to followers that her mother had tested positive for Covid-19.