Trump’s loyalty test to Kellyanne Conway: Me or your marriage – Washington Examiner

Kellyanne and George Conway have spent the last two years on public tenterhooks, navigating a fragile peace as the counselor to President Trump has remained a faithful agent of the White House her husband has publicly admonished. But thanks to Twitter, as with all things in Trump world, the president has forced Kellyanne into an inevitable loyalty test: choosing between her boss and her husband.

[Read: Kellyanne Conway takes Trump’s side in fracas with husband George]

In all fairness, it’s shocking that it took this long for our onion-thin skinned president to start shitposting about his most loyal and competent aide’s husband. While it’s almost funny to watch none other than Trump criticize someone’s job as a husband, it indicates that you either leave the White House a hero — or domestic abuser — or survive long enough to be forced through a humiliating loyalty test for no other reason than the president’s ego.

The ideal route is the rare one traveled by Nikki Haley and Hope Hicks. They managed to skirt the brunt of the palace intrigue that plagues the White House and swiftly departed while still in Trump’s good graces. Then there are those, such as James Mattis, who left with dignity, refusing to cross a hard line of ethics.

The third, unfortunate camp winds up in the crosshairs of Trump’s ire.

George Conway should know better than to act as Trump’s armchair therapist, attempting to diagnose the president with mental disorders. While Conway’s well within his rights to critique Trump on the basis of the law or even his behavior, no ethical doctor in the country issues public diagnoses based on external observation. And Conway is not even a doctor. To publicly and repeatedly play with wildfire, knowing that you can directly make your wife’s life hell by provoking her rage-fueled boss, is just selfish.

But it’s still a marriage, and by default, more sacrosanct than any other relationship in Kellyanne’s life.

Trump has approximately 100 million detractors per day that he can rip on to get that much needed Twitter catharsis. While George Conway’s been a big player in the Republican Party for about three times as long as Trump’s even been a Republican — just Google search ” George Conway Ann Coulter” or ” George Conway Bill Clinton” if you’re unfamiliar — Trump still has much higher profile critics to dump on if need be. Kellyanne’s been one of his most faithful and proficient senior staffers for more than two years now. He couldn’t just extend her the courtesy of ignoring her husband’s petty tweets?

Well, no, because this is Trump. Rather than turn a blind eye to a few snide remarks in exchange for keeping one of his greatest assets in the White House, he would gamble on her choosing public humiliation over her marriage.

As Leo Tolstoy once noted, happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. We cannot know the inner workings of the Conway marriage, nor are we entitled to. It’s fully possible that they have a don’t ask, don’t tell policy regarding the president in their private relationship, and perhaps this will all blow over. But I know of few happy families built on an agreement where a husband fuels the fire that forces the wife to publicly betray either her boss or her marriage.


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