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Kellyanne Tells CNN: Woman Assaulted Me. CNN Responds: Does Trump Trigger Right-Wing Violence?

In an interview on CNN, Senior White House adviser Kellyanne Conway stated that after the hearings for then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, she was assaulted at a restaurant by a 63-year-old woman who screamed at her, grabbed her arms from behind and shook her, all in front of Conway’s young teenage daughter.

Mary Elizabeth Inabinett was charged in November with second-degree assault and disorderly conduct; she had been identified by police after they obtained a restaurant receipt with her name, found Inabinett in state vehicle records, and matched that against a video of the encounter that was taken by Conway’s daughter. The video was unclear as to whether an assault occurred. Conway later identified Inabinett with Bethesda police station in November.

CNN obtained the charging documents, which stated that Conway told police the shaking lasted a few seconds “but the suspect continued to yell and gesture at her for approximately 8-10 minutes before she was escorted from the restaurant.” Additionally, a police corporal stated, “The suspect was yelling ‘shame on you’ and other comments believed to be about Conway’s political views.”

According to CNN, Maryland state law does not require physical assault for an assault charge.

In the interview, which will be aired on CNN’s series, “Badass Women of Washington,” Conway recalled that Inabinett started “screaming her head off” at Uncle Julio’s, a Mexican restaurant in Bethesda, Maryland. She said, “Somebody was grabbing me from behind, grabbing my arms, and was shaking me to the point where I felt maybe somebody was hugging me … 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.”

Conway said she called 911, but when police arrived, Inabinett had already fled.

Inabinett’s attorney, William Alden McDaniel Jr., insisted his client was innocent, saying,”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.”

Conway cited other incidents where members of the Trump administration have been targeted, adding, “The idea that we should be treated differently because of anything, of anything, because of where we work or what we believe or what we’re trying to do on behalf of this great nation, that’s complete nonsense.” Some examples of members of the Trump administration being harassed are here and here.

According to CNN, the interviewer from CNN shifted the narrative in the interview, asking whether President Trump’s language triggered acts of right-wing harassment. Conway replied:

You violated my challenge, which is to try to form a sentence, let alone a paragraph, and not mention Donald Trump. Nobody seems capable of doing it. It seems like it’s a physiological impediment for the world … What’s necessary is for people to understand — in front of everybody but especially in front of 13- and 14-year-old girls — that you need to control your temper, control yourself. You need to get over the damn 2016 election and do that because 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.

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