Kellyanne Conway, Donald Trump’s campaign manager, dodged questions Wednesday about inappropriate behavior at beauty pageants.
In an interview with CNN’s Brianna Keilar on CNN’s “The Situation Room,” Conway wouldn’t directly address comments Trump made in 2005 to radio shock jock Howard Stern about walking in on contestants getting dressed while he owned the Miss USA pageant.
“Maybe you want to ask me who it is I see day-by-day – this intelligent, clever, gracious gentleman frankly whose family is making a huge sacrifice to run for president. No one wants to talk about that,” Conway said. “You want me to comment on something he said to Howard Stern in 15 seconds 10 years ago and that somehow I’m an expert on it.”
As CNN’s Kfile reported this weekend, Trump told Stern he would “go backstage and everyone’s getting dressed, and everything else, and you know, no men are anywhere, and I’m allowed to go in because I’m the owner of the pageant and therefore I’m inspecting it.”
“You know, the dresses. ‘Is everyone OK?’ You know, they’re standing there with no clothes. ‘Is everybody okay?’ And you see these incredible looking women, and so, I sort of get away with things like that. But no, I’ve been very good,” Trump added.
Keilar also asked Conway about comments made yesterday by former Miss Arizona Tasha Dixon – who competed in the 2001 Miss USA pageant.
“He just came strolling right in. There was no second to put a robe on or any sort of clothing or anything,” Dixon told CNN affiliate KCAL in an interview published Tuesday. “Some girls were topless, other girls were naked.”
The contestants were asked by “people who work for him” to go up and greet him when he came into the dressing room.
“Our first introduction to him is when we were at the dress rehearsal, half-naked and changing into our bikinis, to have the owner come waltzing in when we’re naked or half naked in a very physically vulnerable position,” Dixon said. “And then to have the pressure of the people who work for him telling us to go fawn all over him, to go walk up to him, talk to him, get his attention.”
Conway told CNN that she couldn’t comment on the issue because she’s not Dixon.
“I can’t comment on what she’s saying because I’m not her,” she said. “What she described was pretty graphic in detail. So let’s not conflate the two. I heard what she said and I heard what he said. And the fact is that all you want to do is talk about something he said about something 10 or 15 years ago.”
Dixon, who was 18 years old when she competed in the pageant, said that Trump owned the pageant to “get around beautiful women.”
“I’m telling you Donald Trump owned the pageant for the reason to utilize his power to get around beautiful women,” she said.