White House counselor Kellyanne Conway backed away Monday from her earlier claim that former President Barack Obama had illegally surveilled President Trump using TV sets and microwaves, insisting she had been speaking “generally” — and invoking a certain ’80s cyborg detective.
“Chris, I’m not Inspector Gadget. I don’t believe people are using the microwave to spy on the Trump campaign,” Conway told CNN’s Chris Cuomo during a contentious interview. “However, I’m not in the job of having evidence. That’s what investigations are for.”
“I’ve said many, many times throughout the week that the President is pleased that the House and Senate intelligence committees have agreed with him that this should be part of the investigation that already exists about Russia and the campaign,” the Trump aide continued. “An investigation that apparently has gone nowhere so far.”
The CNN sit-down marked Conway’s latest efforts to clarify her accusation that Obama’s unproven surveillance of Trump spanned far beyond wiretapping, a claim she made in a Bergen Record interview published Sunday night.
“What I can say is there are many ways to surveil each other,” Conway told the paper. “You can surveil someone through their phones, certainly through their television sets — any number of ways.”
Conway even insinuated that Trump had been surveilled through a microwave, choosing to mention that there are “microwaves that turn into cameras.”
“We know this is a fact of modern life,” she told The Record.
In an interview with “Good Morning America” on Monday, she admitted having “no evidence” for the claim.
“Of course I don’t have any evidence for those allegations and that answer had nothing to do with what the President said last week,” Conway said when asked repeatedly about her claim.
Her comments came more than a week after Trump first offered his explosive — and still baseless — accusation that Obama had ordered an illegal “tapp” on Trump Tower.
The House Intelligence Committee has asked the White House to provide any evidence of the allegations by Monday — a deadline that it seems certain not to meet.
Conway’s ABC spot was just one of several Monday morning she appeared to use to both pull away from her comments to The Record and tout the new Republican healthcare plan.
“All I said to the Bergen Record is — I was making a comment about the articles from this past week where it is revealed that one can be surveilled through any number of techniques, through microwaves, through the cameras, through televisions. I wasn’t talking about anything specifically,” Conway told “GMA.”
In a separate interview with NBC’s “Today” show, the former pollster declined to comment on her boss’s wiretapping allegation, citing that the issue was “under investigation.”
Confronted with Trump’s embracing last week’s positive jobs numbers after years of dismissing his predecessor’s reports as invalid, Conway pivoted to talking about Obamacare, replying that “there’s a lot of fakery going on for people who were promised something that never came to be.”
Conway’s media blitz appeared to inspire a Monday-morning Trump tweet.
“It is amazing how rude much of the media is to my very hard working representatives,” Trump tweeted moments after her CNN interview concluded. “Be nice, you will do much better!”
Conway, for her part, retweeted her boss. Earlier in the morning, she wrote: “On wiretap claims, I have said many times that we are pleased the House/Senate Intel Committees are investigating & will comment after.”
“Response to Bergen Record was about surveillance articles in news & techniques generally, not about campaign. Headline just wrong,” she added.