Claudia Conway is the outspoken 15-year-old daughter of Kellyanne Conway, the former counselor to President Trump. The teenager uses TikTok to express her dislike of Trump and to distance herself from her family’s political views. She has appeared on Fox News and has trended on Twitter multiple times, much to her dismay: “Like I’m trending on Twitter for what? For what? Why’s the media so obsessed with everything a 15-year-old girl has to say? Ask me out already CNN. Ask me out Fox News.”
Claudia Conway gained traction on TikTok during the summer of 2020 when her Black Lives Matter and “Save Barron” videos went viral. As of October, she is now verified with 1.4 million followers and 41 million likes on the app. She has also amassed an audience on Twitter of more than 580,000 followers.
The outspoken teen has made her disassociation with her parents’ conservative viewpoints clear. In her recent TikToks, Conway talks about riling up the family dinner table by saying ACAB and joking about Trump’s recent failure to denounce white supremacy in the first presidential debate. She continues to make reminders to vote blue in the upcoming election.
On Aug. 22, Conway posted to Twitter her devastation at finding out that her mother was due to speak at the upcoming Republican National Convention. The same day she announced that she was officially pushing for emancipation from her parents. Conway wrote: “my mother’s job ruined my life to begin with. heartbreaking that she continues to go down that path after years of watching her children suffer. selfish. it’s all about money and fame, ladies and gentlemen.”
Responding to critics, Conway later clarified on Aug. 23 that she isn’t seeking emancipation because of her mother’s job, but rather due to “years of childhood trauma and abuse.”
Later that day, Kellyanne Conway announced her resignation from her position as Trump’s senior counselor. In her official statement, she explained that she was leaving to focus on her children who are starting the new academic year remotely. She wrote, “For now, and for my beloved children, it will be less drama, more mama.”
Her daughter responded nonchalantly with more jokes on TikTok, using the sound effect “I was bored, so I ruined lunch purposely and I had fun doing it,” captioned, “me making my mom leave the white house to take down the administration and save america.”
News of Claudia Conway first reached mainstream media outlets when her TikToks went viral. Insider reported on her anti-Trump videos and advocacy for the Black Lives Matter movement in late June.
The media was once again inflamed by the news of Conway’s parents forcing her to delete her social media accounts, but her hiatus didn’t last very long, as she returned a few weeks later to “revolutionize twitter” after she got her phone back. Conway sarcastically took to TikTok promising she was “cured of her radical leftism.” She has made headlines in USA Today, Newsbreak, Business Insider, Yahoo News and many other media platforms.
Most notably, Conway appeared on Fox 5 Washington DC on Aug. 25 in the headline “Conway family strife: Claudia seeks emancipation from parents.” Interviewee family law attorney Tracey Coates discussed the definition and process of the emancipation of minors.
Conway responded to her media coverage in a tweet: “DO NOT USE MY TRAUMA FOR MEANS OF PUBLICITY OR PROFIT. IT’S SICKENING. I AM 15 YEARS OLD. EXPLOITING A MINOR PUBLICLY IS DISGUSTING.”
Recent News of COVID-19
In her most recent internet takeover, Claudia Conway has been making TikToks about the COVID-19 outbreak at the White House. She made a video expressing her suspicions about her mother’s symptoms before later confirming that her mother tested positive in the following video. Conway posted, “im furious. wear your masks. don’t listen to our idiot fucking president piece of s—. protect yourselves and those around you.”
According to Wired, Conway claimed on TikTok that her mother had lied to her about her test results and she also made assertions about Trump’s health: “Apparently he is doing badly lol and they are doing what they can to stabilize him.” A subsequent video showed Kellyanne Conway scolding her daughter, “You lied about f—— Covid!”
On Oct. 7, Conway posted a follow-up statement regarding the controversy. She once again indicated her disgust over the media’s efforts to exploit her, as well as clarified that she has no insights into Trump’s health. Rather, she was just speculating, and she wishes both the president and the first lady a quick recovery. Finally, she explained how there was some miscommunication between her and her mother but she did not actually lie about her test results. Kellyanne Conway had three tests; the first was negative and the second two tests were positive. Conway assured that her mother has done everything possible to ensure her health and safety.
Kellyanne Conway tweeted: “My daughter, Claudia, is beautiful & brilliant. She has access to top doctors & health care & lives comfortably. Like all of you, she speculates on social media. Yet she’s 15. You are adults. We have COVID, but it’s clear who’s really sick.”
Should the Media Be This Obsessed Over Claudia Conway?
Yes and no. In early August, she captioned a TikTok, “pov: ur a 15 year old girl being forced into the spotlight to be exploited by the media for your sudden unwanted fame.” Despite her disdain for the limelight, Conway has used the platform to advocate for social justice; she encourages her audience to educate themselves and to vote, even though she isn’t old enough to vote herself.
pov: ur a 15 year old girl being forced into the spotlight to be exploited by the media for your sudden unwanted fame
She put a positive spin on something both unwanted and unexpected, and whether her opinions and means of expressing them are met with opposition or not, her determination to not be silenced is commendable. In her interview with Insider, Conway said, “I know my mom always told me: if you believe it, go stand for it.”
However, Conway is also a minor who deserves privacy. What she does with her platforms is her choice, and while having a public forum allows for the scrutiny of others, the lines between her private and public life have become blurred. Is it unethical for major news outlets, or even just the media in general, to be so invested in her personal life and family matters?