President Trump denies knowing about an intelligence report that said Russia paid a bounty to the Taliban to kill U.S. troops serving in Afghanistan.
WASHINGTON — White House counselor Kellyanne Conway’s 15-year-old daughter Claudia was not expecting the wave of support she got after TikTok videos opposing her mom’s boss went viral in the last day.
But now Claudia says she hopes to use her platform to educate others on social justice issues.
Kellyanne Conway’s husband, conservative lawyer George Conway, is known as an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump, despite her high position within the administration. Now her teen daughter has amassed a large following on social media where she posts anti-Trump and pro-Black Lives Matter videos.
“I know a lot of my friends are so informed and I think they wouldn’t be if it weren’t for social media, which is why I think using one’s platform for good and for the education of others is so, so important, especially in our day,” Claudia told USA TODAY on Tuesday.
Claudia, one of the Conways’ four children, said she holds the opposite political views of her mother and most of her family members. She and her mother sometimes get into political arguments, but have a “best friend” relationship, she said.
Claudia said the reaction to her videos has been overwhelmingly supportive, something she said came as a surprise. After New York Times journalist Taylor Lorenz tweeted about Claudia’s videos Monday night, her profile was flooded with views and was the subject of media articles. She now has over 40,000 followers on the platform and got “hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of thousands of views.”
Her father is supportive of her videos and speaking to media, she said, though some viewers of her videos have questioned her relationship with her mother.
“My dad is pretty supportive of it, you know, my mom, she’s always taught me to stand up for what I believe in,” she said.
“A lot of people have been telling me that I’m disrespecting my mother by doing this—I’m not at all,” Claudia said. “I want nothing but love for her because she is an amazing person.”
USA TODAY has reached out to Kellyanne Conway for comment.
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Claudia has posted videos on TikTok suggesting that viewers leave bad reviews on Trump’s properties and complaining that “our president for the next four years is either going to be a r@pi$t or a r@pi$t,” likely a reference to multiple assault and harassment allegations against Trump and the allegation that Joe Biden assaulted a former staffer.
“I don’t support the pussy-grabbing president. Period. Piece of s–t. Period,” Claudia said in a live TikTok video on Tuesday.
Progressive Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg are two of Claudia’s idols, she said. She is also a supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement and has asked her TikTok viewers to push for the arrests of the police officers involved in the death of Breonna Taylor, a Black woman who was shot in her apartment by police in Louisville in March.
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The self-described teen activist said that she decided to use her social media channels to advance more liberal causes after educating herself on issues such as marriage for same-sex couples and abortion.
“Growing up in a family where you’re really only exposed to one side and your mom is a public figure working for some of the biggest Republican politicians in the nation, you know, 12-year-old me was wondering, ‘Why? Why is my mom doing this?’
“‘What does she believe in? Why does she believe this and why does she fight for this so much?’ And so I started reading,” she said.
Though Claudia says she doesn’t think her mom has budged on most of her political opinions, she may have been influenced to support the Black Lives Matter movement in part because of her daughter’s advocacy.
“I honestly think that she is pro-Black Lives Matter because of me,” Claudia said.
Claudia Conway on why her mom still works for Trump: “It’s called internalized misogyny. That is facts.”
— Jacob Shamsian (@JayShams) June 30, 2020
Claudia said it’s been hard to grow up with her parents in the political spotlight. She said she has been bullied over her parents’ politics. Headlines about her parents’ opposing views and their marriage have made her life difficult, she said.
“I honestly don’t think it’s anyone else’s business, other than my family and mine, to be honest,” she said. “It’s kind of frustrating that I’ve kind of grown up around that.”
Kellyanne Conway’s family dynamic has been the subject of attention over the years due to George Conway’s frequent criticism of the president on Twitter and as a commentator. He supported the Democrat-led impeachment inquiry of Trump. George Conway shared one of his wife’s tweets late last year with the comment, “Your boss apparently thought” that he needed Ukraine’s help to defeat Joe Biden in the 2020 election.
Claudia said her mother asked her to take down content from her TikTok account after it started gaining attention yesterday, but she declined. She has deleted some videos for “privacy reasons” because they featured friends, she said on a TikTok live video Tuesday.
Claudia said family members have dismissed her political opinions because of her age, but that “I’m a teenager with valid views.” She encourages young people to educate themselves on political issues.
“It’s 2020. Everyone should get on board, especially Gen Z,” she said. “We should all educate ourselves and spread love any way we can because, because our world is so filled with hate. There’s no room for any more.”
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