Former President Donald Trump is apparently only afraid of one person on the planet, and that is his wife Melania — at least according to the person notable for coining the phrase "alternative facts."
Former senior White House counselor Kellyanne Conway made the statements during testimony she gave to the House Select Committee investigating the Capitol riot. The committee released the transcript of Ms Conway’s interview on 2 January.
Ms Conway was asked if she spoke to Mr Trump on the day of the Capitol riot. She said she did not, but that she did attempt to contact his wife, then-first lady Melania Trump.
"I texted Melania Trump that day, though, for sure," she told investigators. "I texted her, please — something to the effect of, you know, ‘please talk to him,’ because I know he listens to her."
Ms Conway said that Mr Trump “reserves — he listens to many of us, but he reserves fear for one person, Melania Trump.”
She told investigators that Ms Trump did not immediately respond to her concerns, claiming the former first lady did not have her phone with her at the time. Ms Conway suggested that Ms Trump might have been "at risk" during the Capitol riot.
"She didn’t know what was going on," Ms Conway said. "I’m offended that nobody ran in there to tell the first lLady of the United States that, I mean, she and her teenage son may be, I don’t know, at risk."
Ms Conway did not specify what might have put Ms Trump and her son at risk.
After the riot, Ms Conway appeared on Bill Maher’s show, expressing disappointment that Mr Trump did not act sooner and calling the rioters “marauders.”
“I wish the president had spoken with the people earlier to get them the hell out of there,” she said on the show. “I think those marauders and murderers, they insult, not represent, the Trump movement,”
At the time the riot was occurring at the Capitol, the former first lLady was reportedly busy overseeing an archival photoshoot of items in the White House’s East Wing. She told Fox News shortly after the riot that she had been busy with her duties and was not immediately aware that people had broken into the Capitol.
Former Trump aide Stephanie Grisham has poked holes in Ms Trump’s ignorance defence, claiming that she asked the former first lady to condemn the violence on the day of the riot.
"Do you want to tweet that peaceful protests are the right of every American, but there is no place for lawlessness & violence?" Ms Grisham wrote.
The message’s recipient — who was saved in the phone under the initials "MT" — simply replied "No."
Ms Grisham confirmed to the Washington Examiner that the "MT" stood for Melania Trump. She claims the former first lady’s response prompted her resignation.
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