Bad blood is still boiling between top operatives of the President-elect Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton presidential campaigns. The hard feelings blew up during a “discussion” at the Harvard Kennedy School Institute of Politics. A conversation intended to record history by drawing out the internal deliberations of both campaigns.
There was the usual periods of calm, substantive discussion about data, metrics and target states, but occasionally the nastiness of the campaign surfaced. At one point Hillary’s communications director Jennifer Palmieri and Trump’s campaign manager Kellyanne Conway turned the event into a catfight, complete talking and yelling and over each other.
You should really hear it. The transcription doesn’t let you sense the emotions. The Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics has posted audio of all the Institute of Politics post-election review session that devolved into the catfight here. The argument over Bannon begins around 1:36:00 and really goes south at about the 1:40:30 mark.
You can also listen to part of the catfight in the following clip from the Washington Post:
PALMIERI: If providing a platform for white supremacists makes me a brilliant tactician I am glad to have laws. [interruption] Give me a minute, David. I am more proud of Hillary Clinton’s alt-right speech than any other moment on the campaign.
PALMIERI: She had the courage to stand up. I would rather lose than win the way you guys did.
CONWAY: No you wouldn’t. No you wouldn’t.
PALMIERI: Yes, yes.
CONWAY: That’s very clear today. No you wouldn’t, respectfully. I’m sorry, how exactly did we win? No, go for it, Jen. How exactly did we win? I’d like to know because I sacrificed the last four months of my life to do it, excuse me, and we did it. And we did it by looking at the schedule and, yes, the electoral map of 270 because that is how you win the presidency. And we went into places where we were either ignored or mocked roundly by most of the people in this room. I have a smile on my fact at all times. And we did it by focusing with Steve Bannon and David Bossie and everybody you see here. They’re going to go, ‘she just said Corey [Lewandowski] was part of the campaign. Jeff Zucker! Okay, Corey, can tell, whatever, what was that, June? (ed. note: Conway was referring to Lewandowski’s post-campaign employment at CNN) And we focused on how to win. We connected with voters. We connected with voters.
PALMIERI: Kellyanne, his schedule didn’t concern me. What concerns me is hiring — is, is himself, you know, we’ve already gone through some of the examples of his own language, of his own positions that I believe were at odds with my values as an American of embracing diversity, inclusivity, equality. And hiring someone like Steve Bannon who has an act, with Breitbart and gives people a platform and one of my proudest moments with her is her standing up with courage and with clarity in Steve Bannon’s own words and Donald Trump’s own words the platform that they gave to white supremacists, white nationalists. And it is a very, very important moment in our history as a country and I think as his presidency goes forward I am going to be very glad to be part of the campaign that tried to stop this.
CONWAY: Excuse me, she said white supremacist… Do you think I ran a campaign where white supremacists had a platform? Are you going to look me in the face and tell me that?
PALMIERI: It did. Kellyanne, it did.
CONWAY: Oh, that’s how you lost?
PALMIERI: It did!
CONWAY: Do you think you could have just had a decent message for the white working class voters? Do you think this woman who has nothing in common with anybody —
PALMIERI: I’m not saying that’s how you won but that’s the campaign that was run, yes.
CONWAY: We flipped over 200 counties that President Obama won, and Donald Trump just won. You think that’s because of what you said, or that people aren’t ready for a woman president? Really? How come it’s just Hillary Clinton? She doesn’t connect with people. How about they have nothing in common with her? How about you had no economic message?
The Institute does this after presidential elections, but they are usually much more sedate.