Counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” she was a victim of sexual assault.
“I feel very empathetic, frankly, for victims of sexual assault and sexual harassment and rape,” Conway said. “I’m a victim of sexual assault.”
“I want those women who were sexually assaulted and confronting Jeff Flake, God bless them, but go blame the perpetrator,” Conway said, referring to the Arizona senator who was cornered in a Senate elevator by two women who shared their own stories as victims of sexual abuse. “That’s who’s responsible for sexual assault, the people who commit them.”
Host Jake Tapper interjected and said, “Can I just say, first of all, this is the first time I’ve ever heard you talk about something personal like that, and I’m really sorry that you went through that.”
Conway replied: “I’ve just had it. I’ve just had it with it all being the same.”
When Tapper pointed out that President Donald Trump has been accused by multiple women of sexual misconduct, Conway rejected the comparison.
“Don’t conflate that with this and certainly don’t conflate it with what happened to me,” Conway said. “Let’s not bring Trump into everything that happens in this universe. That’s mistake number one.”
She also continued her defense of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, condemning the “raw partisan politics” that have surrounded the multiple sexual misconduct allegations against him.
At the center of the firestorm is Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, a northern California professor who testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee this week that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in high school.
Ford alleges that at a high school gathering in 1982, she was pushed into a bedroom from behind and that an inebriated Kavanaugh pinned her down on the bed, groped her over her clothes, and covered her mouth when she tried to yell for help. She added that Kavanaugh’s friend, Mark Judge, was an eyewitness to the attack and was also drunk at the time.
Two other women, Deborah Ramirez and Julie Swetnick, also made allegations of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh shortly after Ford’s story was published. Kavanaugh denied the claims and defended himself before the committee on Thursday in testimony that was often emotional, combative, and angry.
Despite her defense of Kavanaugh, Conway said on Sunday that she supported Ford’s testimony.
“I found her compelling and I’m glad she had her voice here and I think they could both be right,” Conway said. “Something terrible could have happened the summer they were both 15 and Judge Kavanaugh was not involved. That’s why you have sworn testimony, corroborating evidence, if you can find it.”
Following Ford’s testimony, Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake called for an FBI investigation into the allegations against Kavanaugh, which Republican lawmakers then requested.
The New York Times reported on Saturday that the GOP drafted a list of four witnesses for the FBI to interview as part of the investigation. The report added that the FBI will probe aspects of sexual misconduct allegations made by all three women who have come forward against Kavanaugh, but that it does not plan to directly question Swetnick about her claims.