Kellyanne Conway faced a barrage of questions on “Late Night with Seth Meyers” Tuesday, as Meyers repeatedly pressed her on President-elect Donald Trump’s knowledge of a bombshell report about his alleged ties to Russia.
The “Late Night” host started his interview by congratulating Conway, who is set to become counselor to Trump once he takes office, on being the first woman to run a successful presidential campaign. But he quickly delved into more challenging topics, asking Conway about a CNN report that had been published earlier in the day and said Trump and President Barack Obama had been briefed on intelligence documents claiming Russian spies have “compromising personal and financial information” about the president-elect.
The damning allegations in the documents, written by a former British spy using Russian sources, haven’t been independently verified. BuzzFeed first published the documents in their entirety on Tuesday, but media outlets have had them for several months and have not been able to confirm their claims.
Meyers started by asking Conway to confirm whether, as CNN reported, the intelligence community had presented the information to Trump. She repeated that the claims hadn’t been verified.
“I have to say as an American citizen, regardless of your party … we should be concerned that intelligence officials leaked to the press, and won’t go and tell the president elect or the president of the United States himself now, Mr. Obama, what the information is,” Conway said.
Trump has denied the allegations on Twitter.
Meyers returned to his original question, twice trying to pin down Conway on whether Trump had been briefed and disputing her description of the report.
“It says that they never briefed him on it,” Conway said.
“I believe it said they did brief him on it,” Meyers replied.
“Well, he has said he is not aware of that,” she said.
“OK, well, that concerns me,” Meyers said.
Conway changed the subject, discussing allegations that Russia had interfered in the election to help Trump win and saying that “there wasn’t very compelling information in terms of the nexus that many people would like to make between alleged hacking and the election results.”
“Vladimir Putin didn’t tell Hillary Clinton to ignore Michigan and Wisconsin. She did that all by herself,” she said.
Conway has a reputation for being able to explain away Trump’s most outrageous remarks and deftly duck questions about his inconsistencies and scandals. Meyers, a comedian, handled her tactics like as seasoned interviewer and refused to let her change topics.
“Shouldn’t we care if the Russians tried to interfere, whether it affected the outcome of the election or not?” he asked. “I sometimes fear that the president-elect has no curiosity as to the amount they tried.”
“That is completely false. He has enormous curiosity,” Conway interjected. “He was curious enough to figure out America.”
“That’s a pivot right there, Kellyanne,” Meyers replied. “And by the way, no one does it better.”
Meyers kept up the hard questions, asking Conway about Trump’s Cabinet picks, lack of press conferences and use of Twitter. Watch the full interview above.