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What could ‘alternative facts’ mean for Kellyanne Conway?

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Donald Trump truly has had an eventful first few weeks in office with the Women’s March on Washington on January 21 as well as some widely debunked remarks about the crowd size of the inauguration from Sean Spicer, Trump’s press secretary. However, after her defense of Spicer, someone who is suddenly under a surprising amount of scrutiny from the media is Kellyanne Conway.

For those who were following the election, which is the large majority of the American population, Kellyanne Conway is not an unfamiliar name. She was a senior adviser and eventual campaign manager of Trump’s campaign, and on December 22, 2016, he announced that she would be assuming the role of consul to the president in his inauguration. “I’m excited to work with a senior team that is already in place to support Trump,” Conway said. “It’s a weighty responsibility, but I have the president’s ear and his trust, and I’m honored and humbled to have this opportunity… it would’ve been very difficult to say no.”

However, the controversy surrounding her at the moment is with regards to the comment she made about Sean Spicer, who claimed that the inauguration crowd had been the largest in history. This claim was negated by many sources, including CNN and the New York Times, both of whom had pictures which clearly showed that Trump’s inauguration crowd was much smaller than Obama’s. Conway ended up defending Spicer in way that drew a lot of attention to herself. “You’re saying it’s a falsehood,” Conway said. “Sean Spicer, our press secretary is giving alternative facts to that.”

In fact, the phrase ‘Alternative Facts’ was trending on Twitter for the better part of the day after Conway’s interview, with many people criticising the way that she simply dismissed the way that the new administration had lied to the public on Trump’s very first day in office. Although extremely unlikely, people even speculated about whether Trump should fire Conway. After the way Conway quickly brushed aside the inaccuracies in Spicer’s statement, they no longer feel they can trust Conway. Sadly, this statement goes for the rest of the Trump administration as well after the events of the inauguration weekend. “I know an attempt to deceive the American public when I see it,” The Guardian opinion writer Jill Abramson said. “Most people believe there is truth and there are lies. “Alternative facts” are just lies.”

This being said, there are people who have come out in support of Conway and Spicer, mostly consisting of Trump’s team. They feel that liberals are making a big deal out of nothing and are simply looking for excuses to put down the new administration rather than give it a chance. In fact, some even feel that Conway calling Spicer’s remarks ‘alternative facts’ was pretty fair and apt description. “The press was trying to make it seem like we were ignoring the facts,” Spicer said. “But you can look at the statement the same way you look at a weather report. One weather report comes out and says it’s going to be cloudy and the next one says there’s going to be light rain. No one lied to you.”

However, although inauguration weekend was far from routine for Conway, the effect that she could have on the country, whether beneficial or detrimental, is yet to be gauged. In the four years to come, we will both the good and bad of this administration, and at the end of it, the whole of America will certainly have an opinion on Kellyanne Conway. “America will see me helping transform the movement he has led,” Conway said. “I’m humbled to be part of the force that will turn it into a real agenda of actions and results, and we will see where that takes us.”

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The student newspaper of Washington-Lee High School
What could ‘alternative facts’ mean for Kellyanne Conway?