Kellyanne Conway Blasts Democrats for 'Picking Lawyers from TV,' Ignores Trump's History of Recruiting From TV

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway lashed out at Democrats on Monday before ex-Richard Nixon counsel John Dean spoke to the House about the Mueller report, But she levied a criticism that appeared to apply to the president, as well.

While appearing on Fox News, Conway said that Democrats are "picking lawyers from TV now," presumably referring to Dean's regular appearances on CNN as a contributor.

Trump has sought to hire lawyers who previously appeared on Fox News, which he watches frequently. Watchdog organization Media Matters reported last year that additions to Trump's legal team involved a common similarity: the attorneys that Trump had moved to hire had backed the president and criticized the Mueller probe during regular appearances on Fox News. (Two of the individuals who Trump sought to add to his team—Victoria Toensing and Joe diGenova—did not, in the end, serve for the president. Jay Sekulow, who was hired by Trump and was the third individual listed in the Media Matters report, said that "conflicts" prevented the other two attorneys from joining the team.)

Kellyanne Conway
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway talks to reporters following an interview with Fox News with Vice President Mike Pence's Chief of Staff Marc Short outside the West Wing on May 23. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

During his time in the White House, Trump has regularly hired staff who were previously outspoken voices on cable news, including national security adviser John Bolton and top economic adviser Larry Kudlow.

Dean, who held a central role in Nixon's eventual resignation, has regularly criticized Trump and used his own experiences to target the president. Conway took aim at Dean's disbarment and his guilty plea, in the 1970s, when charged with obstruction of justice.

"I passed four state bars, never been disbarred," Conway said. "Never went to jail for obstruction of justice and don't plan on it." (Dean did not go to jail but was held at a Maryland military fort.) Conway also noted Dean's decision to criticize Justice Brett Kavanuagh before he was approved to serve on the Supreme Court.

In addition to issuing a sharp rebuke of Kavanuagh, Dean has said that Trump's actions are worse than Nixon's. The former White House counsel wrote in prepared statements that "I would like to address a few of the remarkable parallels I find in the Mueller Report that echo Watergate, particularly those related to obstruction of justice."

The president also lashed out at Dean, calling the former White House attorney a "sleazebag." Trump claimed that the "Dems were devastated" by the findings of the Mueller report and said the investigation was "a disaster" for them.

Dean's testimony is the latest development in ongoing partisan battles over the Mueller report.

While Republicans have sought to downplay the findings of the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, Democrats have moved to intensify oversight of the president and subpoenaed evidence related to the report. House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler announced on Monday that the committee had reached a deal with the Justice Department to receive certain documents related to possible obstruction by the president.