In her new memoir “Here’s The Deal,” out today, Kellyanne Conway recalls how her 15-year-old daughter Claudia was thrust into the national spotlight by a New York Times reporter.
Conway, the former Special Counselor to President Donald Trump, first heard her daughter was going “viral” in July 2020 when a reporter from Yahoo! News texted her late at night: “Are you following the … coverage of Claudia’s TikToks?”
She wasn’t but that text made her look.
Conway was shocked to find that Taylor Lorenz, then a tech reporter for the New York Times, had assembled all of her daughter’s anti-Trump posts on TikTok and reposted the entire thread on Twitter to her hundred thousand followers, “any one of whom could now paw through the daily details of my teenage daughter’s life and whatever thoughts and emotions might have passed through her active mind.”
Claudia’s likes, comments and number of followers exploded, making her an overnight sensation. “This of course is the dream of every teenage girl who is on social media, but her parents’ nightmare,” writes Conway.
Her first reaction was utter terror. “Terror for Claudia’s safety. Instant fame brings instant chaos as I well know.”
She called her husband George, an attorney and conservative political activist known for his own controversial tweets about Trump, But, she writes, he was indifferent.
“What do you want me to do?” he asked before hanging up the phone, she writes.
“He would not answer another call or take any of my desperate texts.”
When Conway called Claudia, she was on the New Jersey boardwalk with three of her friends and filled with adolescent glee. “I finally got my fame!” she announced. “I’m trending! I’m not taking it down!”
Conway ruefully notes that the media spent more time covering her daughter during the Trump administration than they did Hunter Biden, now 52, during his father Joe’s bid for the presidency. “My underage daughter became news, but not Joe Biden’s dirtbag adult son.”
In August of 2020, Conway announced she would be leaving the White House to focus on her family. “We disagree about plenty,” she wrote of herself and her husband, “but we are united on what matters most: the kids. Our four children are teens and tweens starting a new academic year in middle school and high school that will be conducted remotely from home for at least a few months. As millions of parents nationwide know, kids ‘doing school from home’ requires a level of attention and vigilance that is as unusual as these times.”
Lorenz’s Twitter thread on Claudia Conway has since been deleted. Claudia Conway now boasts 1.6 million followers on TikTok.