Counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway has reversed her place on the time period “Kung Flu” — from “highly offensive” to a suitable means for President Donald Trump to do the “incredibly important” job of not letting China off the hook — after the racist phrase drew cheers at back-to-back marketing campaign rallies.
Conway in March referred to as the time period “hurtful” and “wrong,” stating that she herself was “married to an Asian,” the well-known Trump antagonist George Conway, who has Filipino descent.
She was responding on the time to a tweet from CBS News’ Weijia Jiang, which alleged that an unnamed White House official used the time period in opposition to her in particular person.
Improbably, Conway attacked that very same reporter at a Wednesday press gaggle for a similar declare, telling Jiang to her face that she didn’t have the “courage” to publicly out the official.
“I also asked Weijia to reveal to us who said it. I think that would have gone a long way,” Conway stated to an NBC News reporter earlier than suggesting the person take it up with Jiang.
When the reporter as an alternative pressed about Trump’s use of the time period, Conway stated that “Chinese virus” or “Wuhan virus” have been acceptable phrases, as a result of they helped Americans perceive that the president has blamed China for the pandemic’s unfold.
This bolstered White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany’s speaking level from Monday: that Trump was solely “putting the onus back on China.” (She additionally tried to falsely inform reporters that Trump had not used the time period, though he was recorded doing so.)
Conway then turned on to Jiang.
“I still invite you up here to tell us who said that,” she jabbed. “And I think that that would be a very important revelation for us. That’s not a source for you to protect. That’s somebody who shouldn’t have said that, and you’re claiming did say that. And we still don’t know who that was.”
Jiang reminded Conway that she had as soon as stated the phrase was “hurtful,” earlier than asking Trump’s former marketing campaign supervisor if she would nonetheless say that to the president in the present day.
“I speak to the president daily on many different topics,” Conway replied, including: “We don’t always agree on everything, and that’s why I work here.”
Conway, seemingly unwilling to let the problem go, returned to the president’s protection moments later, saying “it’s incredibly important” that he does “not let China escape responsibility.”
Jiang identified that “Kung Flu” doesn’t check with anyplace on the map.
“Excuse me, how do you know the way people — how do you know that people aren’t anticipating that or are not connecting that?” Conway fired again, assuming a well-known pugilistic place.
“You don’t know that! Excuse me, while the president is saying it, he’s also saying this virus came from China,” she stated. “China is responsible!”
When Jiang pushed again on Conway, the senior official pinned the blame on her.
“You should have come forward a hundred days ago when you had the chance,” Conway stated. “You lost your opportunity — you lacked the courage to tell everybody who said that to you.”
“You like to stoke this instead of solving it. I’m here to solve things not stoke them,” she continued. “You did the opposite on this issue.”
Throughout the contentious trade, nonetheless, Conway was cautious by no means to talk the phrase herself, saying solely that it was “another term” amongst many which Trump has invoked.
“The ‘Wuhan virus,’ the ‘Chinese virus,’ and then he used another term,” Conway famous.