POLITICS
05/29/2017 01:30 am ET Updated May 29, 2017

'Deferential' Kellyanne Conway Says Her Gender Helps With Donald Trump

"He is my boss and my elder," says the president's counselor.

Kellyanne Conway told Business Insider that her gender “helps” when dealing with boss Donald Trump as long as she’s “very deferential.”

“I think there’s a femininity that is attached to the way one carries herself or the way one executes on her duties,” the president’s counselor said in the interview published Sunday.

“I could tell you a great way that my gender has helped me with the president,” she said. “I’m actually unafraid to express my mind, but I do it very respectfully — very respectfully and very deferentially.”

And she also often serves it up with a “big smile,” she said last year.

Conway said she considers Trump to be not only her boss but her “elder.”

“I don’t consider [Trump] my peer. He is my boss and he is my elder,” Conway, 50, said of the 70-year-old president. “That has actually allowed me, in my view, to respectfully but forcefully express my opinion on certain matters.”

Conway presents an unusual figure in the White House. She can appear to be coquettish and sometimes wears eye-popping colors strikingly different from the typically more conservative fashion found among D.C. political operatives. 

Kellyanne Conway turns up the color at Donald Trump's inauguration.
Brian Snyder/Reuters
Kellyanne Conway turns up the color at Donald Trump's inauguration.

She was called out earlier this year on Twitter when she curled her legs beneath her on a couch in the Oval Office after snapping photos of heads of historically black colleges and universities who were visiting the president.

She considers herself “post-feminist, anti-feminist and non-feminist,” she said in the interview, because she believes feminists are “anti-male.”

She’s not big on the concept of sexism, except when the media calls her out, which she considers sexist. She recently blasted Anderson Cooper as sexist for an eye roll while he was interviewing her. It occurred as a testy Conway confusingly attempted to explain Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey.

Sexism has not been a problem for Hillary Clinton, however, Conway insists. “Let me tell you,” she said in a Fox interview, “Hillary Clinton is in search of sexism as a lame excuse for why her disastrous candidacy and campaign lost six months ago.”

There are only a smattering of women in a White House overwhelmingly dominated by white men. Only four of 24 Cabinet and Cabinet-level posts are filled by women, while more than 50 percent of the U.S. population is female.

“Attaching a hard and fast number to it is not as relevant as the contributions that are made by the woman who are at the table,” Conway insisted to Business Insider.

“We’re heard and we’re seen and we’re listened to and we are sought out and sought after for our opinions and our judgment and our ideas and our insight.”

Trump told The New York Times in an interview last year that his then-campaign press secretary Hope Hicks gave him advice “in a very low-key manner so it doesn’t necessarily come in the form of advice. It’s delivered very nicely.”

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post said Conway snapped photos while historically black governors visited with the president. The visitors were heads of historically black colleges and universities.

CONVERSATIONS