Host Kate Bolduan with CNN seemed incredulous at first when Conway suggested that Obama had ulterior motives behind his actions against Russia.
Of course, Conway was only quoting a New York Times article, in which the writer David Sanger said that Obama’s actions could be an attempt to ‘box in’ the incoming President.
Here’s their interview:
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Kate Bolduan: I think what a lot of people want to know is of course, the President-elect can reverse all of it when he takes office in a very short time. Will he reverse these actions taken by President Obama?
Kellyanne Conway: I won’t make a statement on that at all tonight. I will tell you that even those who are sympathetic to President Obama on most issues are saying that part of the reason he did this today was to quote ‘box in’ President-elect Trump. That would be very unfortunate if politics were the motivating factor here. We can’t help but think that’s often true.
Even the New York Times characterized it as such that this may be an attempt to box him in to see what he’ll do as President. That’s not the way peaceful transitions of administrations work in our great democracy. And so at the moment I think the President-elect has spoken his peace on this.
Bolduan: You think these serious actions that the President – Kellyanne, you think that these serious and unprecedented actions that the President Obama took today – expelling 35 diplomats, giving them 72 hours to leave the country, sanctioning foreign intelligence services – you think that President Obama did that just to ‘box in’ Donald Trump?
Conway: I was actually quoting David Sanger’s piece in the New York Times where he says in one of the opening paragraphs that this is an attempt – this could also be an attempt to box in President-elect Trump. And I’m merely saying that if the New York Times report is true and credible, that that would be an unfortunate rationale here on top of many other rationales.
You’re right, Kate. It is unprecedented. And I don’t think at the height of the Cold War that this country expelled that many operatives. So, I know the President is looking tough in his last couple of weeks. First, I would call them sanctions against Israel over this past weekend. And now, sanctions against Russia.
But, the fact is that – we’ll see. The word ‘symbolic’ is being used also by the New York Times and other such pro-Obama Administration outlets. So, we’ll see if this has teeth, and we’ll see if some of our allies follow suit.
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