Kellyanne Conway, 'alternative facts' spin doctor, leaves White House
WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump's long-serving adviser Kellyanne Conway announced on Sunday she will step down to focus on her family.
Mrs Conway, 53, has been at Mr Trump's side since day one, managing his 2016 campaign.
But the past four years of singular loyalty to Mr Trump, including defending him on TV, have taken a toll on the combative spin doctor who coined the phrase "alternative facts".
While she made a name for herself as one of Mr Trump's sharpest defenders, her husband, prominent Washington lawyer George Conway, is a strident critic of the President, repeatedly and loudly questioning his mental fitness for office.
"I will be transitioning from the White House at the end of this month," she said in a statement.
"George is also making changes. We disagree about plenty but we are united on what matters most: the kids."
She said their four children would be starting the new academic year remotely.
"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," she said.
"For now, and for my beloved children, it will be less drama, more mama."
Her announcement came a day after her 15-year-old daughter Claudia tweeted that she was "devastated" that her mother would speak at the Republican convention, and pledged to seek legal emancipation "due to years of childhood trauma and abuse".
Separately, Mr Conway said he would be stepping back from the Lincoln Project, a group of anti-Trump Republicans he co-founded.
Mrs Conway came to prominence just days after Mr Trump took office for coining the term "alternative facts" while defending the debunked White House claim that the 45th president's inauguration crowd was larger than former president Barack Obama's.
In 2017 she referred to a non-existent terrorist attack, "the Bowling Green massacre", to defend Trump's immigration ban.
A lawyer and pollster by training, she also stuck out her White House role while other aides were forced out, quit or left in humiliation. - AFP