Kellyanne Conway, once President Donald Trump’s most visible proponent, broke her week-long silence Thursday by telling a friendly crowd they should spend less time on Twitter.
Notably, her boss did just that before her appearance at the Conservative Political Action Caucus (CPAC), a rare instance when the president held his fire during the morning news shows.
Conway had become a regular on network and cable news programs since taking over Trump’s campaign last year then following him to the White House. She also did a number of print interviews since becoming a counselor to the 45th president. But until she walked on stage at CPAC, just outside Washington, it had been eight days since she spoke publicly.
Conway has essentially found herself blacklisted from the shows she once frequented after a string of questionable comments, including her advocacy for so-called “alternative facts, ” a mention of a “massacre” in Bowling Green, Kentucky that never happened, and for being off-message on how the White House handled the resignation of Gen. Michael Flynn, Trump’s short-lived national security adviser.
Conway was met with warm applause by the friendly and like-minded audience. She had some advice for the youngest members of the conservative movement: “Don’t live online. Live in real time. I’m just astonished how many people live online — Facebook, Twitter, e-mail.”
Since taking office, Trump has continued to use Twitter to eviscerate federal judges, political foes, the media and other critics — though he has posted less often the last few days.
She also urged them to “engage” with other people in person, and told them to let others “see something other than the top of your head.”
In two bits of advice that she well could have given to Trump himself, she told the audience to “tune out the naysayers and critics” and remember that a four- or eight-year presidency is a lot longer than the first four weeks.
The new administration has had a fair share of stumbles and self-inflicted wounds since taking office on Jan. 20, including a botched rollout of its since-frozen executive order that would temporarily ban individuals from Syria and six other predominantly-Muslim countries from entering the United States.
She also pulled back the curtain on her boss, saying in private Trump is “kind” and “generous,” and takes an active interest in his staff members’ lives — a contrast to the brusque and combative public persona the president often exudes.
Conway said Trump “works harder” than his aides and “absorbs information.” She also touted — though she did not go into detail — the “sacrifices” Trump and his family have made in his becoming commander in chief.
Though some political observers have questioned just how conservative Trump really is, especially on domestic policy issues, Conway predicted he will be greeted warmly when he addresses the conference on Friday morning.
“By tomorrow,” she quipped, “this will be TPAC when he’s here — no doubt.”