February 15, 2017
Former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, already an outspoken critic of the Trump administration, isn't pulling any punches when it comes to the current state of disarray at the White House.
The CNN contributor appeared Tuesday night on CNN's "OutFront" with Erin Burnett to discuss the resignation of national security adviser Michael Flynn, whose premature discussions with the Russian ambassador to the United States have cast an ominous shadow over President Trump and his inner circle.
Anonymous officials reported on Tuesday that Trump knew about Flynn's actions just six days into his presidency, yet the White House opted to portray the situation as a matter of Flynn providing incomplete information to Vice President Mike Pence. To the extent a unified crisis plan existed, it went horribly awry. Hours before Flynn's resignation, White House senior adviser Kellyanne Conway said Flynn still enjoyed the "full confidence of the president," contradicting more measured remarks from press secretary Sean Spicer.
Nutter wasted little time in going after Conway, suggesting she should follow Flynn's lead and get lost.
“Let me first say Kellyanne Conway certainly served candidate Donald Trump very, very well. She’s obviously a very strong woman and I recognize strong women," Nutter said. “But campaigns are different than governing. As some say, the streets weren’t made for everybody. That’s why they made sidewalks. Kellyanne needs to get on the sidewalk.”
Separate from the issues surrounding communication about Flynn, Conway is under fire from the Office of Government Ethics, which recommended Tuesday that she be investigated for endorsing Ivanka Trump's fashion line during a television interview.
Nutter suggested Conway "has damaged her own credibility" and should do President Trump a favor by resigning. Alice Stewart, a friend of Conway's and the former communications director for Ted Cruz's 2016 presidential campaign, attempted to defend Conway by arguing the White House has been too busy fulfilling campaign promises to ensure that communication to the public is consistent.
The former Philly mayor had one word for that: "hogwash."