Kellyanne Conway, an adviser to President Donald Trump, said during a conversation about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh Sunday that she had been the victim of sexual assault.
“I feel very empathetic, frankly, for victims of sexual assault and sexual harassment and rape,” Conway said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
She then paused, cleared her throat and said, “I’m a victim of sexual assault.”
Conway, over the course of an intense and emotional conversation with CNN’s Jake Tapper, seemed to express frustration that all sexual assault allegations get lumped together. She said the current saga surrounding Kavanaugh, who is facing one allegation of sexual assault and three allegations of sexual misconduct, was a product of “raw partisan politics.”
“I’ve just had it. I’ve just had it with it all being the same,” Conway said.
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Tapper then asked her about how her own experience affects her as it relates to working for a president who himself has faced — and denied — multiple allegations of sexual misconduct.
“Don’t conflate that with this. And certainly don’t conflate it with what happened to me. It would be a huge mistake,” Conway said. “Let’s not always bring Trump into everything that happens in this universe.”
Conway, however, said all women coming forward with sexual assault allegations “should be heard” — but in the appropriate venue.
“They should all be heard. And they should be heard in courts of law, and they should be heard in depositions” she said. “ Those who can prosecute, those who have civil and or criminal causes of action should pursue that.”
“But we do treat people differently who are either the victims or perpetrators of this based on their politics now, and based on their gender. That is a huge mistake,” she said.
At another point in the interview, Conway, using the example of Sen. Jeff Flake having been confronted at the U.S. Capitol on Friday by sexual assault survivors, urged “those women who were sexually assaulted … who confronted Sen. Flake the other day” to “go blame the perpetrator.”
“That’s who is responsible for sexual assaults, the people who commit them,” she said.
Conway’s comments come just days after Kavanaugh and one of his accusers, Christine Blasey Ford, both testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The situation has prompted many survivors of sexual assault to go public with their experiences.
Ford, on Thursday, explained in emotional testimony her allegations against Kavanaugh, while Kavanaugh aggressively denied them. On Friday, Trump ordered the FBI to conduct an additional background investigation of Kavanaugh.