Trinity prez: Conway complicit in Trump's 'war on immigrants'
The President of Trinity College in Washington D.C. is heavily criticizing not only President Trump, but prominent alumna and donor Kellyanne Conway, as well.
According to Inside Higher Ed, President Patricia McGuire blasted Trump and Conway in a blog post on the college’s website concerning Lies and the Truths We Must Tell, accusing Conway of helping to facilitate the administration’s use of deliberately misleading statements
“We Americans study the history of tyranny and exclaim, 'That’s terrible, but it would not happen here!' as we congratulate ourselves on the robust state of our democracy,” McGuire states, but asserts that “the experience of the last few months now exposes this once-confident boast as terribly naive and perhaps even dangerous as a new administration indulges in a remarkable torrent of false and misleading statements as a basis for policy and action.”
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"The gravest lie we are grappling with at the present moment is the Trump Administration’s cruel and unreasonable war on immigrants—mostly people who are black and brown, and Muslim,” she continues, remarking that Trump’s executive order on immigration “has spread fear and uncertainty among many people in the United States and worldwide.”
McGuire then directs her ire toward Trinity alumna Conway, a top aide in Trump campaign who has gone on to serve as a visible spokesperson for the administration.
“Presidential Counselor Kellyanne Conway, Trinity Class of 1989, has played a large role in facilitating the manipulation of facts and encouraging the grave injustice being perpetrated by the Trump Administration’s war on immigrants among many other issues," McGuire claims. “Some people admire her staunch advocacy for her client’s positions, and others applaud the fact that she was the first woman to manage a successful presidential campaign. But in fact, as is true of many of President Trump’s statements, her advocacy on his behalf is often at variance with the truth.”
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McGuire even asserts that “Conway invented the now-infamous phrase 'alternative facts' to defend Trump’s claims about the size of crowds at his inauguration,” which she describes as “a thinly veiled autocratic scheme to try to claim that the Trump inauguration drew the biggest crowd in history when, in fact, it was on the smaller side.”
In an interview with The Washington Post, Conway fired back again McGuire’s criticisms.
“It’s a disappointment to have the president of the university...attack me, and never have the courtesy of calling or emailing me to ask what I meant on any given occasion,” Conway said, pointing out that McGuire had no issue calling to ask her for a donation to the college during a 1999-2002 fundraising campaign to which Conway gave $50,000.
Conway also observed that Trinity has been effusive in its praise of other notable alumni, particularly Democrats such as Kathleen Sebelius, a former Secretary of Health and Human Services in the Obama administration, and House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi, declaring, “I get better treatment from Robby Mook [Hillary Clinton's campaign manager] than I do from the president of the university I attended.”
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Frederick Hess, Director of Education Policy Studies at the American Enterprise Institute, also condemned McGuire’s blog post, calling it another example of the partisan bias in higher education.
“To me, university leadership has felt enormously partisan,” Hess told the Post. “That factors into seeing this as cheap partisan thuggery rather than any serious commitment to robust civic debate. Criticism is appropriate and valid–people have points of view. But I think it’s striking how incredibly uniform higher education is.”
McGuire denied that her attack on Conway was part of a “political cat fight,” acknowledging in an interview with Inside Higher Ed that while she has faced some pushback from conservative alumni, she was also criticized previously by the school’s more-numerous liberal backers for failing to speak out against Conway.
When asked if she would have addressed the matter in the same way were she the president of a more conservative-leaning institution, though, she merely remarked that “I'm not sure I would ever be picked to be the president of that kind of college, nor would I seek it.”
Campus Reform reached out to President McGuire and Trinity College for further comment, but did not receive a response in time for publication.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @AutumnDawnPrice