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Kellyanne Conway’s husband is now criticizing President Trump on Twitter

Until recently, George Conway III was being considered for a top Trump administration job.

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty

A well-connected conservative lawyer raised eyebrows in Washington Monday morning, as George Conway III — husband of top White House adviser Kellyanne Conway, and until recently under consideration for a top job in President Donald Trump’s Justice Department — publicly criticized the president.

Conway was responding to a Monday morning presidential Twitter rant in which Trump criticized his own Justice Department for revising his “travel ban” on people from several predominantly Muslim countries.

“These tweets may make some ppl feel better, but they certainly won’t help OSG [Office of the Solicitor General] get 5 votes in SCOTUS, which is what actually matters. Sad,” Conway tweeted in response to Trump.

Conway’s account hasn’t tweeted in over a year, but the Washington Post’s Matt Zapotosky says Conway has confirmed to him that it is authentic.

The background to this is that after the first version of Trump’s “ban” was blocked in court, the administration withdrew it and submitted an altered version it hoped could better withstand legal scrutiny. But in doing so, they’ve tried to argue that this is a new policy and that its legality should be judged independently from the president’s statements about older versions of the “ban.” Conway is saying tweets and public statements like this from Trump could prove problematic for government lawyers who are making that case in court (a topic Vox’s Dara Lind wrote about this morning).

The argument isn’t really new, but the fact that it’s Conway who’s making it is rather striking. He was reportedly a contender for the solicitor general job and since March has been said to be the top contender to lead the Department of Justice’s civil division under Trump. It was only last week that Conway took his name out of consideration for the post, citing family reasons. It remains unclear whether there’s more to the story here, but no matter what went down, it’s highly unusual for a top White House staffer’s spouse who was about to officially join the administration to chide the president on Twitter.

Update: Conway has elaborated on his opinions further, saying he still supports Trump and is criticizing him for undermining his own agenda by tweeting too much on legal matters:

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