Kellyanne Conway: Counselor and target

Kellyanne Conway
Kellyanne Conway 13:22

Kellyanne Conway played a crucial role in Donald Trump’s election to the presidency. And she continues to have a high-profile job in his White House (with the occasional day off). Norah O’Donnell of “CBS This Morning” has a Sunday Profile: 

Last Sunday, Kellyanne Conway wasn’t defending her boss, President Donald J. Trump, on TV. She was at church, attending mass with her husband, attorney George T. Conway, and their four children, along with some friends.

Kellyanne Conway. CBS News

Breakfast at a diner came next, followed by some quality family time at their northern New Jersey home -- a brief return to what life used to be like.

But these days, her Sunday routine is far from normal. The new normal includes full Secret Service protection.

“Why? Have there been threats?” asked O’Donnell.

“Yes,” Conway replied. “I have 24/7 Secret Service protection.”

“Most White House staffers do not.”

“Do not. I find that to be very unfortunate, and obviously if they didn’t need to be there, they wouldn’t be.”

But they do need to be here. The unusual round-the-clock protection was granted to guard President’s Trump’s high-profile, highly controversial White House counselor.

O’Donnell said, “You were going to stay on the outside and make a lot of money. Why did you go inside the White House?”

“It’s a great question, Norah. Every time I see people say, ‘She sold her soul,’ I’m thinking, ‘Wow.’ I was making in one and a half speeches -- a couple hours out of my life -- what I will make this year in the White House as counselor to the president.”

Senior Counselor Steve Bannon and Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway arrive for the presidential inauguration at the U.S. Capitol, January 20, 2017. WIN MCNAMEE/AFP/Getty Images

Of course, before she counseled President Trump, the 50-year-old attorney and businesswoman, who founded her own polling company, became the first woman to manage and win a presidential race.

And it’s because she’s a woman, says Conway, that she finds herself a constant target.

Take wearing that Revolutionary-style coat at the inauguration (left). She responded to critics by tweeting: “Sorry to offend the black-stretch-pants women of America with a little color.”

“Let’s agree that it was silly to focus on your outfit, that’s fine,” O’Donnell said. “But who are the ‘black stretch pants women’? I’m actually honestly asking, ‘cause I don’t know what the answer is!”

“Goodness, I mean, walk through an airport, look at a lot of America today. They don’t wear anything that snaps, buttons or zippers. And that’s okay. That’s their business. But why criticize what I wear?”

Fast forward to this past Monday, when she was photographed kneeling on a couch in the Oval Office.

Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway checks her phone after taking a photo of President Donald Trump and leaders of historically black universities and colleges in the Oval Office, February 27, 2017 in Washington, D.C. BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

“We’re constantly going back to where I sat, the presumptive negativity of what I wore or what I said, and I do think it’s a triple-standard, I hate to tell you,” Conway said.

“And what does that mean, a ‘triple-standard’?”

“Well, people talk about the double-standard of what a woman wears, not what she said or what she was doing X, Y and Z. The triple standard is that, you know, conservative women are held to -- you know, are just cast aside many times by traditional feminist outlets and individuals who control a great deal of the media.

“I mean, I can’t let the haters get to me or to the president. What he’s doing here is so big.”

Then again, for some, it’s not what she’s wearing, or doing; it’s about what she has said.

“I bet it’s brand new information to people that President Obama had a six-month ban on the Iraqi refugee program after two Iraqis came here to this country, were radicalized, and they were the masterminds behind the Bowling Green Massacre.”

As is now well known, there was never a Bowling Green Massacre. She called it an honest mistake.