Kellyanne Conway, new campaign manager for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, speaks to reporters in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York, Aug. 17, 2016.
Photo by Gerald Herbert/AP

Kellyanne Conway: collusion with Russia not proven ‘yet’

This was the week the Trump-Russia scandal fundamentally changed. Americans were confronted with documented evidence of Vladimir Putin’s government not only offering assistance to members of Donald Trump’s inner circle during the campaign, but top members of Trump’s team welcoming the foreign support.

Nevertheless, Kellyanne Conway, a top White House aide, appeared on Fox News last night – with some props – to argue that these revelations do not “yet” prove collusion.

“I just want to review in case you run out of time. This is how we see it so far. This is to help all the people at home. What’s the conclusion? ‘Collusion’? No. We don’t have that yet.

“I see ‘illusion’ and ‘delusion.’ So just so we’re clear everyone, four words: conclusion, collusion? No. Illusion, delusion, yes.”

The visuals of this were a bit bizarre. Conway, who has an unfortunate track record of saying things in interviews that are completely untrue, held up pieces of paper during the Fox appearance – as if she were trying to emulate Bob Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues” – which lent itself to some easy (and amusing) online mockery.

But it’s also worth pausing to consider Conway’s specific phrasing: “We don’t have that yet.” Um “yet”?

Maybe it was a harmless word thrown in for no particular reason. Speaking on television isn’t easy – I’ve phrased things poorly myself a time or two – and there may have been no deeper meaning to this.

Or maybe Kellyanne Conway knows something else is coming down the pike.