6 things to know about Kellyanne Conway, Trump's right-hand woman
President-elect Donald Trump tapped Kellyanne Conway as counselor to the president on Thursday. In the newly created position, Trump's former campaign manager will work with White House senior leadership to craft Trump's message and help execute the administration's legislative priorities.
Following the announcement, Conway told CNN host Chris Cuomo that her work portfolio "will be whatever the president wants it to be."
"It is likely to include communications, and is likely to include data and security," Conway said.
Who is Trump's right-hand woman? Here are six facts you need to know:
1. She's known as the "Trump whisperer"
Conway met Trump in 2006 when she lived in one of his buildings. Eleven years later, Conway and Trump met again to discuss his presidential bid, but she first declined to work for him due to concerns about how their partnership would be under public scrutiny: "Like, 'What are you doing there?' Riding on a plane? Whispering in his ear about what he should say to women?"
Conway has not been fond of the "Trump whisperer" epithet. When BuzzFeed asked Conway about her nickname, she replied: "You are on solid ground to question that particular description. ... He is his own person."
2. She's been politically active since the late 1980s
According to the Washington Post, she gained footing in politics in 1988, after having worked with Dick Wirthlin, then-President Ronald Reagan's pollster, in the summer before she earned her law degree from George Washington University. Her first assignment was to bring women to the GOP.
3. She has her own polling firm
Conway founded the Washington-based The Polling Company/WomanTrend in 1995. According to its website, The Polling Company/WomanTrend offers polls, focus groups, media management, and research technologies. CNN reported that her company worked with clients such as Vice-president elect Mike Pence, The Heritage Foundation, the National Rifle Association and Americans for Prosperity, to name a few.
A report by Politico shows that Conway's company collected nearly $1.9 million in fees from federally registered political campaign committees, thanks to her soaring profile in this year's election.
4. She was part of Ted Cruz's team
Before she was all about making America "great again," she ran "Keep the Promise 1" a super PAC that raised money for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz's presidential campaign. She even made a personal donation of $5,400 to Cruz in the fall of 2015.
5. Kate McKinnon portrayed her on 'SNL'
On the campaign trail, Conway spent much of her time deflecting questions about Trump's rants. According to Politico, Conway seemingly suggested that Trump's tweets shouldn't be considered newsworthy in an October 2016 appearance she had on MSNBC.
Conway's role as Trump's spin doctor was accurately incarnated by Saturday Night Live's Kate McKinnon. In an SNL skit titled "A Day Off," Conway is portrayed as Trump's damage control expert who is likely to enjoy her day off doing yoga or grocery shopping, but instead her phone vibrates uncontrollably as cable news channels are asking her to explain his rants.
The skit was meant to be a jab at Trump, but Conway seemed to enjoy the show. She wrote on Twitter: "#KateMcKinnon has me down! We got a good laugh in our crazy house."
6. She was once considered the world's fastest blueberry packer
Conway, 41, grew up in Atco, New Jersey. According to Newsmax, she admitted winning the 1982 New Jersey Blueberry Princess pageant, and she was named World Champion Blueberry Packer.