Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Kellyanne Conway seemed to suggest at a Politico event Wednesday that women with kids shouldn’t take jobs in the White House. A few months ago, Conway’s 2013 comments on rape, in which Conway said “rape wouldn’t exist” if women were stronger, resurfaced.
Conway’s comments about mothers in the White House were made at Politico’s “Women Rule” event. (Oh, the irony.) Conway told the event’s audience she couldn’t both be a mother to her four kids, all younger than 12 years old, and work in Trump’s White House. Conway described her conversations with male colleagues, saying, “I do politely mention to them the question isn’t would you take the job, the male sitting across from me who’s going to take a big job in the White House. The question is would you want your wife to? Would you want the mother of your children to? You really see their entire visage change. It’s like, oh, no, they wouldn’t want their wife to take that job.”
At the same event, but after Conway’s comments, Senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett said she told Conway to accept a job in the incoming Trump administration at the White House. Unlike Conway, Jarrett believes a woman can be a mom and have a job in the West Wing.
“I encouraged her to give it a try. First of all, because the experience inside the White House, working with somebody who you respect and know as well as she does the president-elect is unique, and I’ve had the benefit of that and I wouldn’t have traded the last years for anything,” Jarrett said. “I think tone starts at the top and if you have a relationship with your boss such that you can say, ‘Look, this is a top priority. There’s nothing more important for me than being a good mom, but I think I can be a good mom and have the flexibility enough to do this job well.’ And that’s something I encouraged her to try.”
It should be noted Trump's daughter Ivanka is currently on the president-elect's transition team despite having a kid—and a young one, at that.