Both Conway and the White House deny that she was explicitly benched.

By Kevin Lui
February 23, 2017

One of the most prolific surrogates for the current U.S. administration has returned to the nation’s screens, disputing reports that she was intentionally “sidelined” by the White House following a string of controversial appearances.

Kellyanne Conway, counselor to President Donald Trump, spoke Wednesday night to Fox News, and denied a CNN report which suggested her weeklong absence from TV was mandated by the White House.

“Somebody’s trying to stir up trouble,” she told Sean Hannity in her first TV interview for over a week. “About 5% of what I’m being asked to do in this White House counsel role is TV, and I think that’s about right.” She also said that Trump “is the President now, and he’s his own best messenger.”

CNN reports, citing unnamed sources in the White House, that Conway was barred from TV for a week after she had publicly contradicted official administration stances in her statements to the media. She did, however, take part in radio interviews.

One source told CNN that Conway was “off message.”

The most high-profile contradiction came last Monday, when she said on MSNBC that former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn had Trump’s “full confidence,” hours before Trump asked him to resign.

This follows a slew of statements by Conway that have raised questions about her credibility, including her references to a nonexistent “Bowling Green Massacre,” for which she was widely criticized, as well as her on-air promotion of Ivanka Trump fashion products.

Conway told CNN Wednesday that she would be appearing on Fox News that night, saying that she was “trying to focus on other pieces of [her] portfolio.”

White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders also denied reports that Conway was under a mandated time-out from television, telling CNN that “this is another wild goose chase.”

Last week, MSNBC’s Morning Joe said Conway was no longer welcome on the program. “Every time I’ve ever seen her on television, something’s askew, off or incorrect,” said host Mika Brzezinski.

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