White House adviser Kellyanne Conway was physically assaulted by a woman while Conway was out having Mexican food with her middle-school-aged daughter last year.
Conway revealed the late 2018 assault to CNN in a new interview that aired Friday. It’s the latest incident of Trump staffers and conservatives being harassed in public while eating with family.
The 63-year-old woman who attacked Conway was later identified as Mary Elizabeth Inabinett. She was charged with assault and disorderly conduct.
Conway reveals restaurant assault
Conway was at Uncle Julio’s in Bethesda with her daughter and her daughter’s friends for an October birthday dinner when she was approached from behind by an angry woman who was “screaming her head off.”
“I was standing next to my daughter and many of her friends at dinner…somebody was grabbing me from behind, grabbed my arms and was shaking me,” Conway said. “I thought maybe somebody was hugging me… As I turned around, it just felt weird.”
Conway said that the woman had grabbed her hand and was “out of control” and “her whole face was terror and anger.”
The Trump adviser called 911 and her daughter captured the incident in cell phone video that police later used to identify the woman, who left before the cops arrived.
According to charging documents read by CNN, the shaking lasted a few seconds but Inabinnett lingered in the restaurant for up to 10 minutes hurtling verbal abuse at Conway “about Conway’s political views” until she was thrown out. Police matched video from Conway’s daughter with a vehicle registration that they pulled up using Inabinnett’s restaurant receipt.
The woman, whose trial starts in March, was charged with second-degree assault and disorderly conduct. Her lawyer disputed Conway’s account. Conway told CNN’s Dana Bash in the interview that the woman should “pay.”
“I was assaulted in a restaurant,” Conway told CNN. “That person has to go to court soon.”
Disturbing trend of attacks
Bash reported that Conway didn’t bring up the incident for some time because the controversy over Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation was still recent. Conway eventually told her boss about the incident and that the president showed concern for her safety and her daughter.
“Are you OK? Is your daughter OK? Are the other girls OK?” Conway said Trump told her.
The incident is the latest in a disturbing trend of harassment against Trump administration officials and conservatives, a number of whom have been attacked while eating out in public with family and even at their homes.
In June, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked to leave the Red Hen restaurant in Virginia, which came days after left-wing protesters harassed Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen at a Mexican restaurant in Washington. Both incidents coincided with public furor against Trump over illegal immigrant families being separated.
Other conservatives who do not work for Trump have been harassed, as well, including Fox host Tucker Carlson, who had his home surrounded by vandals while his wife was home alone in November over his immigration commentary.
Conway condemned those who attack her and other Trump staffers and supporters because of personal rage against Trump, and said that those who lash out at Trump’s employees “need to get over the damn 2016 election and do that because the chances are — the big chances and I believe — that this man will be re-elected.”
“I don’t want it to become a thing. I just want it to become a teachable moment for everyone that this all has consequences,” she said.