Magazine | May 28, 2018, Issue

“The Kellyanne Conway Show”

(Reuters photo: Jonathan Ernst)

Episode 207: Fixing the Leak

 

FADE IN: INT. WEST WING OFFICE — DAY.

(KELLYANNE sits at her desk. She is on the phone.)

Kellyanne: (into phone) I don’t think we’ve ever really defined the phrase “porn star,” in the sense that a “star” is someone whose name usually appears above the title of a film, at least that’s the way it’s conventionally used, and — what? (pause) Yes, I am serious. (pause) Well, I’m really sorry you feel that way but it’s my job to be precise with language. (pause) Well, I’m sorry, too. (pause) No, this isn’t what I imagined working in the White House would be like. (pause) Yes, I am aware that I sound tired. (She hangs up the phone. Starts to sniffle.) Kellyanne, do not start crying. (She’s about to start crying when WE HEAR from the open office door:)

John F. Kelly (OS): Kellyanne! Do not start crying.

Kellyanne: (crying) I won’t, sir.

(JOHN F. KELLY enters from his office.)

John F. Kelly: Kellyanne, stop it this minute.

Kellyanne: (crying harder) Okay, sir. I will, sir.

(JOHN F. KELLY sighs.)

John F. Kelly: Kellyanne, I’m taking the rest of the day off.

Kellyanne: But what if something crazy happens, sir? Where can I reach you?

John F. Kelly: That’s just the point, Kellyanne. Something crazy is bound to happen. It’s just the law around here. And when it does, I will be out of the office. Unreachable. Somewhere unknown.

Kellyanne: But how will I — ?

John F. Kelly: You won’t, Kellyanne. It’s my new process. I’m trying it out today. See, I just head out. Go somewhere. Hell, see a movie. Pardon my French, Kellyanne.

Kellyanne: Your French is pardoned, sir.

John F. Kelly: So here’s our new operational mode, pending a change in operational imperatives. When something insane happens, or something insane and/or legally actionable is spoken, released, or that other thing —

Kellyanne: Tweeted, sir?

John F. Kelly: You know I don’t like that word, Kellyanne.

Kellyanne: Sorry, sir.

John F. Kelly: Anyway, whenever something like that happens, my past approved tactical response has been to move quickly to repair the damage. My new rules of engagement are to do precisely zero.

Kellyanne: Zero, sir?

John F. Kelly: Zero, Kellyanne. As in zip, zilch, nada. As in, take the afternoon and go see one of those movies where people fly around in space.

Kellyanne: That sounds like a good plan, sir. You know, I was thinking that maybe I could —

John F. Kelly: You stay here, Kellyanne.

Kellyanne: . . . just stay here all day.

John F. Kelly: Exactly. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’d like to shimmy out of here before something weird happens and I’m —

(RUDY GIULIANI enters.)

Rudy Giuliani: Hey oh! Sweet Kellyanne! So great to see you. And a big hey to you, too, John.

John F. Kelly: General.

Rudy Giuliani: General, right, I’m sorry. Anyway, lots to do today. I need phone records, and I need a rib-eye steak, and I need tax returns from the past ten years. Well, we aren’t getting the phone records or the tax returns so let’s just get the steak and have a nice lunch! Kidding. I’m kidding. No, but seriously, here’s what I need. I need to know who in this office — not this office, you know, but this office, like, as in, the offices that surround this general area — is talking to Mueller because it’s awfully hard to push back against all of this stuff without knowing who is back-channeling to the other side, see? So let’s settle in and —

John F. Kelly: I have an appointment.

Rudy Giuliani: Won’t take a second, I promise. Just need a covert-ops type dealio, where we identify the leaker and then feed him — or her! Gotta be PC, I know, right, Kellyanne?

Kellyanne: I guess.

Rudy Giuliani: Anyways, follow me? Leak wrong stuff to the leaker, leaker leaks to Mueller, we make Mueller look like a fool. It’s brilliant. You guys follow me, right? Identify the rat, then feed it poison to send up the chain?

John F. Kelly: This is without a doubt the stupidest thing I have ever heard. Only a total moron — or worse — would come up with something like this.

(DONALD TRUMP enters, leaning into the room while holding the doors.)

Donald Trump: Hi guys! (He saunters in.) Did Rudy tell you about my brilliant plan?

(JOHN F. KELLY coughs a bit. KELLYANNE looks at him.)

Kellyanne: Sir, do not start crying.

FADE OUT.

In This Issue

Articles

Features

Books, Arts & Manners

Sections

The Week

The Week

We propose a total and complete shutdown of New York attorneys general until we can figure out what the hell is going on.

Most Popular

White House

The Mueller Report Should Shock Our Conscience

I've finished reading the entire Mueller report, and I must confess that even as a longtime, quite open critic of Donald Trump, I was surprised at the sheer scope, scale, and brazenness of the lies, falsehoods, and misdirections detailed by the Special Counsel's Office. We've become accustomed to Trump making up ... Read More
World

What’s So Great about Western Civilization

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is Jonah Goldberg’s weekly “news”letter, the G-File. Subscribe here to get the G-File delivered to your inbox on Fridays. Dear Reader (Redacted: Harm to Ongoing Matter), One of the things I tell new parents is something that was told to me when my daughter still had that ... Read More
Film & TV

Jesus Is Not the Joker

Actors love to think they can play anything, but the job of any half-decent filmmaker is to tell them when they’re not right for a part. If the Rock wants to play Kurt Cobain, try to talk him out of it. Adam Sandler as King Lear is not a great match. And then there’s Joaquin Phoenix. He’s playing Jesus ... Read More
Sports

Screw York Yankees

You are dead to me. You are a collection of Fredos. The cock has crowed, you pathetic sniveling jerks. The team I have rooted for since 1965, when I first visited the House that Ruth Built, where I hawked peanuts and ice cream a lifetime ago, watched countless games (Guidry striking out 18!), has gotten so ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Trump Can’t Cry ‘No Fair’

If I may jump in, I take Charlie’s point and I think he’s largely correct. I also think David is correct. There’s not that much of a contradiction in that because I think to some extent they’re talking about different things. And this reflects a larger frustration I have with many of the ... Read More
White House

The Problem with the Mueller Report

So much for collusion. The media conversation has now officially moved on from the obsession of the last two years to obstruction of justice. That’s because the first volume of the voluminous Mueller report, the half devoted to what was supposed to be the underlying crime of a Trump conspiracy with Russia, ... Read More