The latest installment of the White House Intern Series touches on an important topic which has been shaping Trump’s presidency long before he even won the election: FAKE NEWS.
Los Angeles resident Grace Palmer was raised in Los Angeles, but after spending this summer as a White House intern, she’s learned more about the media than she ever expected.
In her blog piece, Palmer notes that presidential adviser Kellyanne Conway is one of her role models, and she was fortunate to be able to observe the 50-year-old mother of four pursuing a career that keeps her in the spotlight as she constantly fights fake news battles for the Trump administration.
As the first woman to ever run a successful presidential campaign, Conway used to run her own company, called The Polling Company Inc./Woman Trend. She stepped down as its president and CEO to work full-time for President Trump.
In 2016, Conway endorsed Ted Cruz in the Republican presidential primaries and chaired a pro-Cruz political action committee. After Cruz dropped out of the race, Trump appointed Conway as a senior adviser. She later became his campaign manager after Paul Manafort was dismissed. On Dec. 22, 2016, Trump announced that Conway would join his administration as counselor to the president.
Since Trump’s inauguration, Conway has been embroiled in a series of controversies, constantly taking heat from a hostile press as she strives to inject facts into their ongoing narrative that President Trump is unfit to lead our country.
In July, Conway told Fox News she is “a protocol and pecking-order kind of gal” in the West Wing.
She established the tone of her relationship with President Trump on the first day she joined his campaign, saying, “I’d like to say, Mr. Trump, I’ll never address you by your first name and I don’t consider myself your peer,” she told FOX, recalling, “and he said, ‘Okay. That sounds great.'”
Conway has called Trump a “great boss for women,” adding, “The reason I said that was because I do think that it’s important to set up that level of deference and humility when you’ve got someone who’s your boss … who is clearly your senior, your superior. He’s never made me feel anything but part of the team and a senior member of the team.”
During an appearance at the Women Rule Summit in December, Conway described her management style as “tough and firm but gentle at the same time” and “very deferential and respectful,” according to The Washington Post. And, according to Business Insider, she said that she brings the president bad news “with a big smile.”
Before she joined his campaign, Conway was a vocal Trump critic and a supporter of Sen. Ted Cruz. The Hill reported that she slammed Trump for “offending his way to the nomination” and questioned his conservative bona fides.
Conway first met Donald Trump in 2001, after she and her husband George — together they have a combined worth of $39.3 million — purchased a condominium in one of his buildings. Conway founded The Polling Company Inc/Women’s Trend in 1995, which has since made her somewhere between $1 million and $5 million, according to Business Insider.
Now, Conway has “walk-in” privileges and can call on the president in the Oval Office unannounced.
As a girl from Los Angeles, the media industry has always been a big part of my life. New movies and television shows were always the buzz around town. I then moved across the country to Washington, D.C. for college and the relationship between the city I lived in and the media changed drastically. It became less about entertainment and more about a fight for information and the ability to control the narrative. Rarely, however, in watching a news segment or reading an article, did I feel like I was getting the full story—a piece seemed to be missing.
This summer I was chosen to participate in the White House Internship Program. As an intern, I was able to attend the Axios News Shapers Breakfast with Kellyanne Conway. Mrs. Conway and Mike Allen, the co-founder of Axios, sat down for a Q&A session that was the keynote of the event. The topic was “the news of the day.” They immediately dove into a dynamic discussion on healthcare, women’s issues, tax reform, and communications strategy. Mrs. Conway and Mr. Allen challenged each other in a cordial way while still managing to report the news and get a message across. For the first time in a while, it felt like I was getting the full story. Both sides were respectful and able to say what they wanted without distractions and interruptions, making it possible for one to finally feel a part of the narrative.
Mrs. Conway is a role model of mine, so being able to attend an event with her was one of the highlights of my summer. Her effective communication skills and advocacy of the President and the American people is truly admirable. It was an honor to witness Mrs. Conway firsthand working to Make America Great Again!
Grace Palmer is from Santa Monica, California, and is a rising sophomore studying Global Business at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service. Grace is a member of the Summer 2017 White House Internship Program in the Office of the Senior Counselor to the President.