Donald Trump Rips George Conway as 'Mr. Kellyanne Conway': 'He's Just Trying to Get Publicity for Himself

President Donald Trump ripped White House counselor Kellyanne Conway's husband Friday after a scathing op-ed questioned the president's attorney general replacement as "unconstitutional" and "illegal."

The president called attorney George Conway "Mr. Kellyanne Conway" when asked about an opinion piece co-authored by Conway and published by The New York Times on Thursday.

George Conway, along with former solicitor general under the Obama administration Neal Katyal, claimed Trump's pick of Matthew Whitaker to fill in for now-former Attorney General Jeff Sessions violated the Constitution and any action Whitaker takes as the country's top law enforcement officer would be "invalid."

Trump said Conway's criticism was a form of showboating and suggested reporters ask Kellyanne Conway about it.

"You mean Mr. Kellyanne Conway? He's just trying to get publicity for himself. Why don't you do this, why don't you ask Kellyanne that question, all right? She might know him better than me," Trump told reporters before departing for his trip to France.

George Conway, who originally supported Trump, has repeatedly criticized the president on Twitter and in opinion pieces. Prior to the midterm elections, Conway took umbrage with Trump's talk of rescinding birthright citizenship with an executive order.

Earlier, Trump praised Whitaker as respected in the law enforcement community but that he also did not know Sessions's former chief of staff before tapping him as the acting attorney general.

Conway said Whitaker's appointment violated Article II, Section 2, Clause 2 of the Constitution. The clause allows the president to name principal officers that report to him, but officers require Senate approval. As attorney general, Whitaker would be a principal officer.

The op-ed was written as speculation swirled over whether or not Whitaker would take any action involving special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Russia's meddling in the 2016 election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign.

Mueller has reported to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein throughout his 18-month long probe after Sessions recused himself just two months before the special counsel was appointed. But with Sessions gone, Whitaker could take over for Rosenstein.

"So, Mr. Mueller is what is known as an inferior officer, not a principal one, and his appointment without Senate approval was valid," the pair write. "It means that President Trump's installation of Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general of the United States after forcing the resignation of Jeff Sessions is unconstitutional. It's illegal. And it means that anything Mr. Whitaker does, or tries to do, in that position is invalid."

Whitaker is viewed as a possible loyalist to Trump. He has publicly stated Mueller should not have been appointed and that Russia did not interfere in the 2016 election, despite the conclusion reached by the U.S. intelligence community.

President Donald Trump speaks to the media before departing on Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House on November 9. George Conway and Neal Katyal claimed Trump’s pick of Matthew Whitaker to fill in for Jeff Sessions violated the Constitution and any action Whitaker takes as the country’s top law enforcement officer would be “invalid.” Getty Images/Mark Wilson