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Seth Meyers interviewed incoming White House advisor Kellyanne Conway Tuesday night, hours after both the CNN and Buzzfeed bombshell reports exposed that Russia may have compromising information on Donald Trump, and that information may include disturbing and potentially disqualifying information on the president-elect.
Meyers, who before becoming host of "Late Night" was a head writer at Saturday Night Live and Host of its "Weekend Update," "grilled" Conway, as The Washington Post notes, on the shocking Russian revelations. And as some on Twitter and elsewhere noted, Meyers' interview of Conway is an example of how she should be interviewed, and perhaps journalists should take note.
Meyers, in short, let Conway wriggle out of almost nothing, countered her false or misleading statements, and respectfully delivered factual information in response to her attempts to mislead.
Watch this short excerpt, and read the transcript published by The Washington Post.
Opening with the revelation of the Russian dossier, Meyers shared the basics with his audience and Conway, allowing her to respond.
“Well, guess what hasn’t happened, Seth,” Conway began. “Nobody has sourced it. They’re all unnamed, unspoken sources in the story, and it says it was based on a Russian investigator to begin with.”
“I think it was based on an MI6 British investigator,” Meyers noted.
“Right, well one of those. And then it said that it also may have originated with a Russian investigator. It also says that Hillary Clinton and groups that wanted Hillary Clinton to win may have been behind the investigations themselves. And, most importantly, it says that the FBI is trying to confirm it. So nothing’s been confirmed.”
Conway continued: “And I have to say as an American citizen, regardless of your party or if you don’t like politics at all, which are many Americans, we should be concerned that intelligence officials leak to the press and won’t go and tell the president-elect or the president of the United States himself now, Mr. Obama, what the information is. They would rather go tell the press —
“But the press report was about them going to the president,” Meyers said.
“And it says that they never briefed him on it, that they appended two pages to the bottom of his intelligence report,” Conway said.
“I believe it said that they did brief him on it,” Meyers said
“Well, he has said that he is not aware of that,” Conway replied.
“That concerns me,” Meyers said.
“It’s not fair, and it’s not true,” Conway interjected.
“What’s not fair? That I’m concerned?” Meyers joked. “I assure you I am.”
“It’s not fair that people don’t give him his due,” Conway said. “He received an intelligence briefing. He made comments about it afterward. And I have to tell you there wasn’t very compelling information in terms of the nexus that people like to make between alleged hacking and the election results. Vladimir Putin didn’t tell Hillary Clinton to ignore Michigan and Wisconsin. She did that all by herself.”
Meyers and Conway were able to find a common ground here. “I am not going to sit and argue with you that the Clinton campaign was a well-run campaign,” Meyers said.
“Or that the Russians interfered in the election successfully. That they interrupted our democracy,” Conway said.
“But shouldn’t we care if the Russians tried to interfere?” Meyers asked. “Whether it informed the election or not. I sometimes fear that the president-elect has no curiosity as to the amount they tried.”
“That is completely false,” Conway said. “He has enormous curiosity. I’m there every day with him. He has a number of different meetings every day — briefings and otherwise. He was curious enough to figure out America. He knew America when many other Republicans did not.”
“That’s a pivot right there, Kellyanne,” Meyers said, before breaking into applause. “And by the way, no one does it better,” he added.
The full 13-minute interview is here.
You can respond directly to Kellyanne Conway by sending your comments to her on Twitter: @KellyannePolls.
You can respond directly to Seth Meyers by sending your comments to him on Twitter: @sethmeyers.
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