Critics of the White House lashed out Tuesday after Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway was photographed casually sitting in the Oval Office during a White House meeting with representatives from historically black colleges and universities, or HBCUs.
Critics allege Conway’s posture was an act of disrespect, which downplayed the significance of the president’s office.
It’s not the feet on the couch morons! It’s the disrespectful posture in front of the African American academic leaders #kellyanneconway
— Melissa Gilbert (@MEGBusfield) February 28, 2017
Yet according to Trump aide Omarosa Manigault, Conway was only attempting to get a better photograph with her phone.
“I saw her taking pictures — it was a very sweet moment, to be honest,” said Manigault in an interview.
She was taking a photo. This is the dumbest outrage ever. pic.twitter.com/qtHkaGpH9N
— Ben Dreyfuss (@bendreyfuss) February 28, 2017
“She looked down at the picture after she got it, and I looked at her and said, ‘Kellyanne, did you get a good shot?’ Because I wanted one for my own records,” she continued.
“I literally looked at her and said, ‘Kellyanne, can you try to get a good shot?’” Manigault added. “She tried again; she positioned herself to get a better picture. It really was at my encouragement for her to try to capture such an important, historic moment.”
Conway also responded to the incident by stating she has “incredible respect” for the Oval Office, adding that coverage should “rightly be on the actual visit and the incredible, important work of these men and women at HBCUs.”
In addition to Manigault, interior designer Kenneth Blasingame — who designed the couch featured in the Oval Office for George W. Bush — said he believes the outrage is overblown.
In an exclusive interview with TMZ, Blasingame notes that while he considers the office “sacred,” it doesn’t mean people can’t be informal within the space.
Meanwhile, supporters of Trump and Conway were quick to point the hypocrisy in some of the attacks against her.
Dems mad Kellyanne Conway’s feet on the couch. But, look at this, here’s the world record holder for feet on the furniture: pic.twitter.com/1vPZTvh998
— MARK SIMONE (@MarkSimoneNY) February 28, 2017
Past presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama even used the office in a casual manner, with Obama seen placing his shoes on the furniture on several occasions.
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