WASHINGTON (REUTERS) – United States President Donald Trump refused to row back on his feud with White House aide Kellyanne Conway’s spouse on Wednesday (March 20), calling Mr George Conway a “husband from hell” and prompting Mr Conway to renew his accusation that Mr Trump was mentally unfit for his office.
“The president seems determined to prove the point I’ve been making,” Mr Conway told Reuters in response to Mr Trump's latest Twitter broadside.
Of all the brawls Mr Trump has waded into, his back-and-forth with Mr Conway, a lawyer who specialises in litigation, has been one of the more eyebrow-raising in Washington.
Mr Trump relied heavily on Ms Kellyanne Conway, a longtime Republican pollster and strategist, to help steer his presidential campaign to victory in 2016.
She is a trusted member of his White House inner circle.
In a tweet, Mr Trump wrote that Mr Conway was upset that he did not get a job in the Trump administration.
But the Washington Post quoted Mr Conway – who is with New York-based law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz – as saying he turned down an offer to head the Justice Department’s Civil Division.
In a morning tweet, Mr Trump wrote: “George Conway, often referred to as Mr. Kellyanne Conway by those who know him, is VERY jealous of his wife’s success & angry that I, with her help, didn’t give him the job he so desperately wanted. I barely know him but just take a look, a stone cold LOSER & husband from hell!”
Asked about Mr Conway by reporters on the White House South Lawn on Wednesday, Mr Trump used colourful language.
“I don’t know him. He’s a whack job. There’s no question about it. I think he’s doing a tremendous disservice to a wonderful wife,” he said.
Mr Trump has been expressing irritation with Mr Conway since the lawyer’s recent suggestion the president was suffering from a mental condition such as narcissistic personality disorder and was unfit to serve as president.
Mr Conway suggested the diagnosis in response to a torrent of tweets unleashed by Mr Trump last weekend laying bare his grievances with, among other topics, Fox News Channel’s weekend anchors and the late Senator John McCain.
Mr Conway on Wednesday posted a brief response on Twitter commenting on Mr Trump’s latest tirade: “You. Are. Nuts.”
In a brief telephone interview, Mr Conway dismissed any suggestion that he and his wife had a book or movie deal about their situation. “Zero. Zilch. The suggestion is absurd,” he said.
He also said he was not fearful about his personal safety as a result of his tiff with Mr Trump. “Most of the unsolicited e-mails I’ve gotten have been positive,” he said.
Mr Conway declined to comment on the fight’s impact on his career and refused to say anything at all about his marriage.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.