WASHINGTON – Addressing the anonymous New York Times op-ed attributed to a senior Trump administration official, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway told reporters that anyone who does not believe in President Trump’s agenda “should just resign.”
“I did not write the op-ed,” Conway said on Friday after speaking at an event on Capitol Hill with “Angel Families” who lost loved ones due to crimes committed by undocumented immigrants. “Everything, I think, I have the courage to say publicly.”
An Esquire writer guessed that Conway is the mysterious author because “there is something unmistakably feminine in the tone,” and that speculation was echoed by MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough on Friday.
Conway was asked repeatedly if senior administration officials should be required to take lie-detector tests, but she did not respond.
“People who believe in the president’s agenda and believe in the president’s leadership ought to do their jobs, and if they don’t want to do that, they look at it as a burden or a blessing, they should just resign. There’s so many people who would like to serve this administration and help push his agenda forward,” Conway said. “I’m just surprised that since you all love accountability and transparency and accuracy so much, that you would give so much authority to all this.”
During her speech at the event, which was organized by the Federation for American Immigration Reform, Conway said the southern border wall would pay for itself “many times over.”
Funding for the wall, as requested by the White House, is currently a sticking point in congressional leaders’ efforts to get spending bills passed by Sept. 30 to avoid a government shutdown.
“Here’s the truth. Open borders lead to massive crime and massive crime that is totally avoidable, so this administration continues to try to abolish ISIS and now we have this new movement to try to abolish ICE. Think of how backward and ridiculous and outrageous and un-American that truly is,” Conway said.
According to Conway, ICE has arrested more than 127,000 illegal immigrants who committed crimes in the U.S. over the past year. DHS cited that figure for fiscal year 2017, including more than 48,000 charges or convictions for assault, 5,000 for sexual assault and 1,800 for homicide.
“Open borders also allow poison to come into our country. Over 93 percent of the heroin consumed in this country is grown in Mexico and smuggled across our southern border. This heroin is fueling a crisis of addiction that is killing our people and destroying our communities,” she said.
“The estimated cost of this death and destruction is over $200 billion each year. A wall built across our southern border will pay for itself many times over just by stopping a fraction of the illegal drug trade that is killing tens of thousands of Americans each year,” she added.
Conway cited Fairfax County, one of the wealthiest counties in the country that is located just outside of Washington, D.C., as an example of an area that’s been impacted by gang violence.
“Gangs like MS-13 are growing and exploiting unaccompanied immigrant minors at such a clip that the Fairfax County chief of police said that the gang issue is out of control,” she said.
Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who lost in the U.S. Senate GOP primary in Arizona, and former White House deputy assistant Sebastian Gorka also addressed the “Angel Families” at the event.