Kellyanne Conway said she rejected an offer to be White House press secretary
Donald Trump's campaign manager said the role wasn't conducive to family time
Kellyanne Conway, the campaign manager who steadfastly defended Donald Trump through a series of controversies at the end of his campaign, said in a pair of recent interviews she will not serve as his administration’s top spokesman.
Conway told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt on Monday she turned down the job of press secretary, traditionally the most visible staff role in the White House.
“I have politely declined that job, Hugh,” she said. “I think it’s an incredibly important position to fill.”
Conway first revealed the job offer – and her decision to turn it down – in an interview on Friday with The New York Times. She said she might instead work outside the White House steering a network of political organizations supporting Trump and his priorities. Her role there could be be a unique blend of confidant, operative and surrogate, she said.
The demanding hours and workload of a senior position inside the White House appear to have been forefront on her mind. In the Times interview, Conway described her children as the “greatest consideration of what to do next.”
“Before I can accept that job, I have to recognize that I’m a mother of four children who are at very tender, very fraught ages – 12, 12, 8 and 7 – and I can’t just say, ‘Oh, but they’ll be OK,’” she reasoned. “Someone else will take care of them.”
She has urged her male colleagues to consider the demands before taking White House jobs, too, asking if they would be comfortable with their spouses in the same post.
“You really see their entire visage change. It’s like, ‘Oh, no’ – they wouldn’t want their wife to take that job,” she explained at an event hosted by Politico.
Conway is a veteran GOP pollster who took the Trump campaign reigns after her candidate dismissed his second campaign manager, Paul Manafort, between the summer nominating convention and fall presidential debates. She rose to become among the most prominent surrogates for Trump’s campaign and her frequent television appearances spinning his message were even mocked on “Saturday Night Live.”
In the radio interview, Conway gave no clues about who Trump favors for the job, saying only she expects the selection to be “a qualified man or woman.”
Other possible contenders who have been reportedly considered include Laura Ingraham, a conservative radio host who has been vocal in her support for Trump; Jason Miller, who has served as an adviser and spokesman for Trump; and Sean Spicer, who led communications and strategy for the Republican National Committee under Reince Priebus, Trump’s incoming chief of staff.