Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union,” reacting to a scare in Nevada at a rally for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, his campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said, “In these closing days, especially as the polls tighten, many of us are getting more death threats, getting more angry messages on social media and elsewhere.”
Partial transcript as follows:
KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Hi, Jake. Hi.
TAPPER: So, first of all, we’re glad everyone is OK. I have to ask. Your social media director, Dan Scavino, and a member of Mr. Trump’s family, they are retweeting misinformation that this was an assassination attempt. It was not an assassination attempt, thankfully. Should they be spreading this misinformation?
CONWAY: Well, I’m glad you’re happy that everybody is OK. That’s really the main focus here. It’s scary. I mean, all the coverage is usually about our protesters wreaking havoc and making people feel afraid. And this certainly goes both ways. I’m with Mr. Trump and the Secret Service routinely. They do an amazing job. They are absolutely the unsung heroes, I’m sure for Mrs. Clinton as well. And the Secret Service, we really respect those men and women enormously. And I’m glad nobody was hurt. But it does remind you that, in these closing days, especially as the polls tighten, many of us are getting more death threats, getting more angry messages on social media and elsewhere. And it’s a pretty fraught environment there. I think that’s the real focus here. I also just want to point out, because some people are spreading this information about the protester, he had canvassed for Hillary Clinton. And he had donated to her campaign. So, this is a Democratic plant or operative trying to disrupt our rally. And I think that people saw a nimble, resilient Donald Trump, who would be nimble and resilient as president as well, take back to the stage, Dan Scavino telling people, we’re not going to be stopped. Nobody can interrupt this movement.
TAPPER: Right. He…
CONWAY: But, you know, if you’re Don Jr. and you’re on a live TV set while you’re watching this unfold, it’s pretty rattling to think of what may have happened to your father. So, I will excuse him that.
TAPPER: Except it wasn’t an assassination attempt. It was apparently a local voter or Republican who says he is supporting Hillary Clinton…
CONWAY: Who supports Hillary.
TAPPER: He has given money to Hillary Clinton. He has canvassed for Hillary Clinton.
TAPPER: But he says he’s a Republican. But, most importantly, he was not trying to assassinate anyone. And here is what I’m talking about. Let’s put it up.Donald Trump Jr. and Dan Scavino retweeted this — quote — “Hillary ran away from rain today. Trump is back on stage minutes after assassination attempt.” Again, we’re happy that this was not an assassination attempt. But why is your campaign spreading that it was?
CONWAY: Well, how do you — first of all, that’s really remarkable, I have to say, that that’s what the storyline is here. Thank you for reminding everybody that the rain chased her away. There weren’t a lot of people there at her rally to begin with. And the rain just left them running for cover. I think she got has to sort of travel nonstop with Beyonce, Jay-Z and the likes of that just to prop her up and get a decent crowd. People, by the way, are there to see Beyonce, not to see her. And, Jake, I want to say, are CNN going to retract all the storylines, all the headlines, all the breathless predictions of the last two weeks that turned out not to be true, the race is over, the path is closed, it’s going to be a blowout? You guys retract that, and I will give a call to Dan Scavino about the retweet.
TAPPER: I never reported anything along those lines. I have always been saying that this was going to be a tight election, and even when Hillary Clinton…
CONWAY: CNN certainly has.
TAPPER: Who hasn’t?
CONWAY: CNN certainly has. CNN certainly has. You know, I love CNN, but you got to — you got to be honest here. The lower third, what’s always on the Chyrons, the panelists, the so-called experts constantly saying, she can’t lose, the race is over, the path is narrowed. And you know what? I actually thank you guys in part for that, because every time…
TAPPER: I have never — I have never heard anybody say — I have never heard anybody say the race is over.
CONWAY: On CNN?
TAPPER: We have been saying all along that Donald Trump has a path to the presidency.
TAPPER: And she — you can say “wow” all you want. I have never said that the race was over. We can replay as many tapes as you want. Let’s move on.
CONWAY: OK. Well…
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