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MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images, TikTok
Claudia Conway, the daughter of White House adviser Kellyanne Conway, has grown a TikTok following of more than 31,000 followers while making anti-Trump and pro-Black Lives Matter posts.
The 15-year-old told Insider she's an advocate for social justice and wants to use her platform "to inform people and spread love."
She said her father — prominent Trump critic George Conway — supports her speaking her mind, but her mother has been apprehensive, asking her to delete her TikTok videos.
Still, Conway called her mother a "badass" and called both her parents the "most well-educated people" she had ever met.
"I believe that ignorance stems from a lack of education and a lack of knowledge, and I believe knowledge is power," the 15-year-old Conway said. "Even if you have opposite views of me as long as you're informed and able to see both sides, that's all that really matters."
Like most 15-year-olds, Claudia Conway is on TikTok.
Unlike most teens, though, Conway has politically famous parents and sits at the center of one of the most high-profile political families of the Trump era. Her mother is Kellyanne Conway, the longtime Republican pollster who in 2016 served as Donald Trump's campaign manager. Kellyanne Conway helped Trump cross the finish line to win the presidency, and since then has served as Trump's adviser and stalwart defender, coining notable phrases like "alternative facts," especially during the early months of his administration.
Claudia Conway's father is the lawyer and conservative columnist George Conway. He has operated as a fierce critic of the president on social media, even as his wife continues her role as one of Trump's highest-profile associates.
"My family is a political family," she said during a phone call on Tuesday. Her father George — founder of the anti-Trump conservative PAC Lincoln Project — was in the room while she spoke to Insider. "I grew up in a very very conservative family, so I was only exposed to those views for a very long time. I decided to educate myself and think for myself."
The young Conway posted videos to TikTok since the app was known as Musical.ly, before it was purchased by the Chinese company ByteDance in 2017 and merged with TikTok. Her initial posts were largely apolitical, but in recent months her online presence has evolved.
In April, Claudia Conway posted a video of herself with a caption that read "when our president for the next four years is either going to be a r@pi$t or a r@pi$t," likely a reference to sexual assault allegations against President Trump and the Democratic Party's presumptive nominee, former Vice President Joe Biden.
Then in June, Conway posted another video using the app's green screen feature to put a Pink News article behind her that read, "The Trump administration just asked the Supreme Court to make it legal to ban same-sex couples from adopting."
Her caption read "I love trump... but replace 'love' with 'think that we should extinguish.'"
i love trump 😌🧚♀️💖 but replace ‘love’ with ‘think that we should extinguish’
♬ Mariposa (Peach Tree Rascals) - goalsounds
Over the weekend, Conway posted a video asking why "people hate on trump supporters" before a change in the background music — a common TikTok bait-and-switch — revealed text that read "SIKE nah block me pls and then educate yourself."
The 15-year-old, who moved to DC when she was in the sixth grade, has also posted in support of arresting the police officers who killed Breonna Taylor, the Louisville, Kentucky, woman who in March was killed by police in her home while they executed a no-knock warrant. It's been a popular rallying cry — and sometimes a meme — of ongoing Black Lives Matter protests.
She's made similar posts on her Instagram page.
Conway's TikTok profile received a boost on Monday night when New York Times reporter Taylor Lorenz shared a link and videos from her profile on Twitter. So far, Conway has garnered more than 31,000 followers and her videos have received a total of more than 311,000 likes.
Despite her conservative parents, Conway said she identifies as a leftist and liberal
Claudia Conway was just 12 when she moved from New Jersey to DC with her family — her parents, her twin brother, and her two younger siblings. While her mother advised Trump, Conway took the opportunity to develop a political conscience of her own.
"I'm still a kid, of course," she said. "I took the time to educate myself and took the time to branch out and be exposed to other sides and other biases and whatnot.
"We do get into arguments a lot — I'm not going to lie," she added of her family dynamic. "My mom is my best friend but we do fight all the time over politics, and I'm always shut down by my entire family."
She called her family a "huge conservative Italian family" and recalled a recent argument over her aunt's choice to wear a "women for Trump" hat.
"I respect everyone's views," Conway told Insider. "For me, there's a certain threshold, I think. Everyone in my family are (sic) Trump supporters except for my Dad and I."
Conway, who described her political opinions as "100%" leftist and liberal," told Insider that she doesn't expect her views to change as she grows up and credits TikTok for helping her get her message out.
"I think TikTok is a huge platform especially for Gen Z kids," Conway told Insider, adding she was making "cute little videos" to get her opinions out there.
"Growing up when your mom is Kellyanne Conway, it's really really hard to disassociate yourself with that image because people look at me and are like 'oh, that's Kellyanne Conway's daughter,' she must love Trump. In reality, I really don't," she said, adding that her views and those of her mother "could not be more opposite."
Despite their political differences, Conway said she had nothing but respect for both of her parents
"I love my parents," she said Tuesday. "They are the most generous, most well-educated people I have ever met. I look up to them and want nothing but success and good fortune for them. They are my parents and that trumps all — no pun intended."
"My mom is also a badass," she added.
"I think I want everyone to know that. My mom is the strongest person I know and she's 100% a feminist. My dad completely supports what I'm doing and I think my mom does too, she's just not as open about it as my dad."
Conway said her mom had asked her to take down her TikTok videos, but "respectfully declined" to do so.
"I'm not going to because I think I have a right to my own freedom of speech. If she works for Trump, she works for Trump," Conway said, adding she understood that her mother was just doing her job.
Kellyanne Conway declined to comment on this story.
"My dad thinks it's awesome that I'm speaking for myself and expressing my views," Conway told Insider. And she's been floored by the positive response her videos have been getting.
"I literally woke up to hundreds and hundreds of thousands of views of people cheering me on and saying they stan me and all this stuff. It's just so beautiful for me, and I think that's the beauty of this generation," she said.
As for what's next, Conway told Insider she just wanted to finish high school, but that she was interested in doing more work in social justice advocacy.
"I think that's what I want to do when I'm older, like social justice activism," she said. "I know my mom always told me: if you believe it, go stand for it."
For now, she plans to use her TikTok "to inform people and spread love," she said.
"I believe that ignorance stems from a lack of education and a lack of knowledge and I believe knowledge is power," the young Conway added. "Even if you have opposite views of me as long as you're informed and able to see both sides that's all that really matters."
Read the original article on Insider