Rachel Maddow grilled Kellyanne Conway on Thursday about how President-elect Donald Trump, his family and his administration plan to treat the media.
During a segment on MSNBC, Maddow asked the newly appointed presidential counselor how reporters can expect to be treated after the inauguration next month. Maddow pointed to Trump’s recent attacks on ABC News anchor Martha Raddatz, whom he mocked for “crying when she realized that we won.” Both Raddatz and ABC denied the account, calling it “fiction” and “ridiculous and untrue.”
“Is this how even a reporter like Martha Raddatz is going to be treated by this president?” Maddow asked.
Conway deflected the question, saying she “would have updates but they’re privately held” and adding that she had “enormous respect” for Raddatz.
Maddow pressed her guest, asking if Trump plans to apologize for the incident.
“Apologies like that are not made publicly, necessarily,” Conway said.
The conversation turned to the $150 million libel lawsuit against the Daily Mail by future first lady Melania Trump. Her lawyer in the case is Charles Harder, the same attorney who ― with the funding of Silicon Valley billionaire and Trump supporter Peter Thiel ― helped Hulk Hogan sue Gawker, forcing the outlet to declare bankruptcy.
“It made that company go away,” Maddow said. “It made a journalistic enterprise disappear.”
“They made themselves disappear by lying, and not settling, and being arrogant,” Conway replied.
“Is the Trump family now embracing that strategy?” Maddow asked.
“Not at all, not at all,” Conway said. “No, she’s defending herself… The goal here is to punish and to call out people who lie about Melania Trump.”
“And a retraction isn’t enough?” Maddow said. “Even if you retract it, the first family will continue to sue you?”
Conway refused to say whether the Trump family would end lawsuits against the media once Trump is in office.
“I’m proud of her for pushing forward with that lawsuit, and she got a retraction,” Conway said. “You asked me if it was enough. Is the damage undone? Do you think you can’t pull up that story somewhere? The damage is always there, and that’s not fair to her.”
Watch the entire exchange above.