Kellyanne Conway Says Trump Considered Quitting Presidential Race After ‘Access Hollywood’ Tape Leak
Donald Trump’s former campaign manager and White House counselor Kellyanne Conway reflects on an exchange she had with Trump after the Access Hollywood clip of him boasting about groping women suddenly released during his campaign in an excerpt from her upcoming book Here’s The Deal. Conway claims she persuaded Trump to not quit the race, though she also theorized in the book that he was “testing” her.
In the audio clip which was recorded in 2005, Trump is talking with television host Billy Bush and mentions he attempted to seduce Bush’s co-host, Nancy O’Dell. In reference to the actress Arianne Zucker who they were about to meet, Trump said he needed “some Tic-Tacs just in case I start kissing her.”
He then added soon after, “Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.”
Conway wrote about the alleged conversation she had with Trump about this tape in October 2016. Even though she was defending and downplaying the soon-to-be President’s comments passionately on TV at the time, Conway says she told Trump in person that his behavior was “reprehensible” and “disgusting.”
Despite her telling him off, Conway also mentions that she gave Trump a pep talk as he was mulling over dropping out of the race entirely. Trump has publicly stated that he never considered quitting, but Conway wrote that Trump was reading reports that he could be forced from the nomination and asked her “Should I get out?”
She then says she told Trump he “actually can’t” quite now, “Unless you want to forfeit and throw the whole damn thing to Hillary.” She then said she encouraged Trump by seemingly appealing to his competitiveness, adding, “I know you don’t like to lose, but I also know you don’t like to quit.”
This isn’t the first segment of Conway’s book that attracted attention before its release tomorrow, May 24. She also spoke about her marriage to George Conway coming under strain. George became and remains a vocal Trump critic on Twitter despite his wife’s continuous employment under him.
She referred to her husband’s tweeting as “sneaky, almost sinister,” and said he took to online battles to skip, “the kinds of confidential, civil conversations spouses typically have when one has a change of heart or both disagree about something big.”