Kellyanne Conway, on a couch littered with embroidered throw pillows, told Bergen Record columnist Mike Kelly that we can all be surveilled by “microwaves that turn into cameras.” This, according to one of Trump’s most distinguished fabulists, is “just a fact of modern life.” Pardon me while I have an aneurysm.
The quote itself is laughable. No such piece of tech exists, because why would anyone ever want a Transformers-esque camera-wave? But the context is sinister. When asked about her boss’s allegations that he’d been wiretapped by Barack Obama—allegations which were made with zero evidence and have been regarded as baseless—Conway responded thusly:
Conway: What I can say is there are many ways to surveil each other now, unfortunately.
Kelly: Do you believe—
Conway: There was an article this week that talked about how you can surveil someone through their phones, through their—certainly through their television sets, any number of different ways, and microwaves that turn into cameras, et cetera. So we know that that is just a fact of modern life.
By “an article” Conway was almost certainly referring to the unverified Wikileaks Vault 7 documents which supposedly originated with the CIA. The big reveal of those leaks was the agency’s ability to obtain data from both Android and iOS devices. Remote access to wifi-enabled devices, especially those with cameras, has been possible for some time. (Any documentation of a camera that can reheat food and spy on civilians is highly classified, I guess.)
But an unsellable piece of invented hardware is a distraction from the larger plan to forward Trump’s baseless wiretapping narrative. The most frightening portion of the exchange is Kelly’s enthusiastic agreement, right after he was steamrolled on the real question.
It is my sincere hope that members of the media stop talking to Conway. In the 51 days since Trump took office she’s repeatedly lied to the American people—claiming “alternative facts” and actual ones have equal validity and later inventing a mass murder—not to mention breaking ethics rules by shilling for the president’s daughter’s clothing line on TV. These are not normal things. And even in a state of abnormality, they shouldn’t be happening with this much frequency. But there was one true thing Conway told the Record from her mansion in ultra-ritzy Alpine, NJ:
I like to joke that in the Trump White House everything is really measured in dog years, so for every one day it actually feels like seven days.
Hah... yup. For those of us not fortunate enough to share a zip code with Chris Rock and Britney Spears, the joke isn’t quite so funny.