In an interview that aired this morning on CNN, Kellyanne Conway described an assault she says happened to her in October:
[T]he White House counselor to President Donald Trump talked about the alleged assault for the first time publicly. She recounted how the woman, who was later identified by authorities as a 63-year-old Maryland resident, approached her “screaming her head off” at Uncle Julio’s, a Mexican restaurant in the DC suburb of Bethesda, as Conway’s middle school-aged daughter looked on.
“Somebody was grabbing me from behind, grabbing my arms, and was shaking me to the point where I felt maybe somebody was hugging me,” Conway said in the interview for an upcoming story for CNN’s series “Badass Women of Washington.”
“She was out of control. I don’t even know how to explain her to you. She was just, her whole face was terror and anger. She was right here, and my daughter was right there. She ought to pay for that,” she said.
Watch the interview below:
— The Hill (@thehill) February 8, 2019
The woman Conway says attacked her has been identified as Mary Elizabeth Inabinett. Her lawyer said Inabinett will plead not guilty when the case goes to trial next month:
“Ms. Inabinett saw Kellyanne Conway, a public figure, in a public place, and exercised her First Amendment right to express her personal opinions. She did not assault Ms. Conway. The facts at trial will show this to be true, and show Ms. Conway’s account to be false,” [lawyer William Alden McDaniel Jr.] said in a statement.
Notes from a police corporal seem to back up at least part of Conway’s account of events:
“The suspect was yelling ‘shame on you’ and other comments believed to be about Conway’s political views,” a police corporal wrote in a charging document based on an interview with the restaurant’s manager, who told police Conway and Inabinett were separated when she first saw them during the incident.
Conway’s daughter was able to take a short video of the encounter, which police later used to match against a photo of Inabinett they had pulled from state vehicle records after getting her name from a restaurant receipt.
It’s unclear whether the video shows any physical contact between Conway and Inabinett, which Maryland state law does not require for an assault charge.
The alleged assault took place on October 14th. Then-Judge Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed on October 6th. His highly-charged confirmation process saw militant progressive activists virtually take over Washington, DC in a mob-rule-style show of opposition to Kavanaugh.
As also noted in the CNN report, the incident followed a series of high-profile instances of Republicans either getting harassed or being refused service in the DC area over the summer:
Conway, one of Trump’s top television surrogates, said the episode was just the latest example of members of the Trump administration being harassed because of their work for the President.
In June, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders was kicked out of a restaurant in Virginia by its owner. Days before that, protesters had booed and shouted at Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen as she dined at a Mexican restaurant in Washington.
It’s not known if Inabinett was motivated by the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings, but what *is* known is that the confrontation happened just a few days after Obama Attorney General Eric Holder told a group of Democrats at a Stacey Abrams rally in Georgia, “When they go low, we kick them.”
A number of other prominent Democrats, including Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), incited people last year to get in the faces of conservatives and Republicans no matter where they were:
“If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them, and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.”
Inabinett was charged with second-degree assault and disorderly conduct. Per Reuters, her trial is scheduled to start on March 29th.
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