FACT CHECK: Wolff Book Claims Kellyanne Conway ‘Had Never Been Involved In A National Campaign’

Emily Larsen | Fact Check Reporter

Michael Wolff, author of the book “Fire and Fury” about President Donald Trump’s first year, claimed that White House advisor Kellyanne Conway had never been involved in a national campaign before joining the Trump campaign.

“Conway, who had never been involved in a national campaign, and who, before Trump, ran a small-time, down-ballot polling firm, understood full well that, post-campaign, she would now be one of the leading conservative voices on cable news,” Wolff wrote in his book released Friday.

Verdict: False

Conway has a long history of involvement with national politics. She served as a pollster for multiple national campaigns in previous election cycles and worked with a number of presidential political action committees (PACs).

Fact Check:

Conway is no stranger to national politics. She founded the market research firm the Polling Company in 1995, where she worked with dozens of Republican campaigns and PACs for 21 years. Multiple Conway profiles note her extensive work in the national political space.

Pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson noted on Twitter that Conway was a pollster for former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign in 2012 and criticized Wolff for framing Conway’s firm as “small-time.” Federal Elections Commission records confirm that the Polling Company received payment from the Newt 2012 presidential campaign committee.

Conway was also the pollster for former Vice President Dan Quayle’s presidential campaign in 1999 when she still went by her maiden name, Fitzpatrick. Conway’s profile on the Polling Company website in 2016 noted that she worked with the Republican National Committee (RNC) as well.

Before she joined the Trump campaign, Conway was involved with other Republican presidential campaigns in the 2016 cycle. Her company worked with a super PAC that supported neurosurgeon Ben Carson’s 2016 presidential campaign in early 2015. She then served as president of a pro-Sen. Ted Cruz super PAC. Conway joined the Trump campaign two months after Cruz dropped out.

The Polling Company called Conway “one of the most quoted and noted pollsters on the national scene,” and said that she has provided commentary on over 1,300 television shows. Progressive media research group Media Matters has documented television interviews featuring Conway since 2007.

Conway has worked with many congressional campaigns, most recently including campaigns for Rep. Steve King of Iowa, Rep. Rod Blum of Iowa and former Rep. John Fleming of Louisiana in the 2016 cycle.

Conway sold the Polling Company to conservative firm CRC Public Relations in September to comply with White House conflict-of-interest rules.

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Emily Larsen

Fact Check Reporter

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