Kellyanne Conway thinks all American women should have a boss like Donald Trump
White House adviser Kellyanne Conway didn't want to talk about how she got dragged for hawking Ivanka Trump's clothing line on TV.
What she did want to say: President Donald Trump is the best boss a woman could ever hope for — a contention with which some women just might disagree.
Conway got called to task on Fox News' The First 100 Days Thursday night for having shilled the presidential daughter's wares on the network that morning.
Her blithely self-described "free commercial" for Ivanka Trump's womenswear collection, which Nordstrom is ditching thanks to lousy sales, spurred a widespread outcry. Congressmen asked the federal Office on Government Ethics to investigate whether Conway broke rules barring the use of public positions for private gain or product endorsements.
Far from apologizing for the potential breach, Conway chose to talk up her boss's kindly handling of the matter.
"It was a very heartening moment," she told Fox host Martha MacCallum. "All I can say to America's women is, 'At some point in your life, you ought to have a boss who treated me the way that the president of the United States treated me today.'"
One woman who might demur: Erin Breen, who USA Today reported sued a Trump golf course because she said she was fired a few weeks after making allegations of sexual harassment in the work place.
Another woman who likely disagrees is former Miss Universe Alicia Machado. Trump slut shamed her during the 2016 campaign after she said in a television interview that the former pageant mogul had called her "Miss Piggy" for putting on weight after winning the crown and demeaned her in other ways.
On income equity, a Boston Globe analysis last June found "Trump has paid men on his campaign staff one-third more than women, while Hillary Clinton has compensated men and women equally."
Outside the bounds of his Trump Organization, there was no shortage of women who said the real-estate-kingpin-turned-president had groped them. The women came forward after the emergence of a bombshell 2005 Access Hollywood hot mic tape in which Trump said his fame allowed him to do as he liked with women, up to and including "grab them by the pussy."
To be sure, many who flocked to Trump's rallies in the run-up to his upset defeat of Hillary Clinton, who would have been the first female president had she won, brushed off complaints of misogyny about the candidate who archly said he loved "winning with women."
So, too, did female Trump employees who spoke to the Washington Post during the campaign about his attitude toward women. Former female employees who discussed their ex-boss with CBS News for a similar campaign piece gave him mixed reviews.
Trump, the former reality show star, is into appearances — particularly when it comes to ladies. Allegations in a lawsuit covered by the Los Angeles Times and rejected by Team Trump accused him of flatly wanting to axe less attractive female workers at one of his golf resorts, and Axios recently reported:
Trump likes the women who work for him "to dress like women," says a source who worked on Trump's campaign. "Even if you're in jeans, you need to look neat and orderly." We hear that women who worked in Trump's campaign field offices — folks who spend more time knocking on doors than attending glitzy events — felt pressure to wear dresses to impress Trump.
Conway, a mother of four and pollster who made her name as a specialist in reaching women on political issues, has herself opened up on having faced sexism and unwanted male advances in her career, so she's clearly not unaware these problems exist.
Conway didn't immediately respond to a Mic request for comment.
Only a mindreader could say for sure if Conway truly considers Trump — who wasn't even her first pick for the Oval Office — the paragon of a compassionate leader or whether her Thursday paean to his finer points shows she's being the team player her paycheck requires.
This much we know: Not everybody sees Trump as the perfect president — or the perfect boss.