Speed Reads

Trump Transition

Kellyanne Conway received death threats, reportedly has her own Secret Service detail

The first few days of the Trump administration have publicly played out in front of a behind-the-scenes power struggle involving the "Big Four" Trump advisers — Kellyanne Conway, Steve Bannon, Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, and son-in-law Jared Kushner — though "at the center, as always, is Trump himself, whose ascent to the White House seems to have only heightened his acute sensitivity to criticism," The Washington Post reports, citing "interviews with nearly a dozen senior White House officials and other Trump advisers and confidants."

Many Trump campaign loyalists say that Kushner is trying to elbow aside anyone who might prevent him from being Trump's "chief consigliere," and that included trying to keep Conway out of the White House, The Post reports. Other insiders suggest Conway is trying to undermine Press Secretary Sean Spicer, an ally of Priebus from the Republican National Committee and not Trump's first choice for the job. The Post also has this tidbit:

Because Conway operates outside of the official communications department, some aides grumble that she can go rogue when she pleases, offering her own message and promoting herself as much as the president. One suggested that Conway's office on the second floor of the West Wing, as opposed to one closer to the Oval Office, was a sign of her diminished standing. Though Conway took over the workspace previously occupied by Valerie Jarrett, who had been Obama's closest adviser, the confidant dismissively predicted that Trump would rarely climb a flight of stairs. [The Washington Post]

Trump, however, is publicly effusive in his praise of Conway, and by all accounts privately values her dogged and skillfully befuddling defense of him. While "some Trump allies were unsettled by her performance" on Meet the Press Sunday, The Post reports, Trump "called Vice President Pence to rave about how she handled questions from [host Chuck] Todd... and called Conway to offer his congratulations," though he was "perturbed that the media focused on two words from Conway's interview: 'alternative facts.'" Still Conway's role as Trump's most visible aide has come at a cost. Due to "threats against her life," The Post reports, Conway "has been assigned a Secret Service detail, according to someone with detailed knowledge of the situation." You can read more at The Washington Post.